Brand safety is always a high priority, but has been a particularly hot topic the past few weeks. Times like this present an opportunity to consider additional channels to add to your media plan that make brand safety a priority.

To find out which channels are the safest for brands, we leveraged MobileVoice®, ironSource's market research platform, to go straight to the source: the consumers. 3,130 consumers shared their opinions on the safety of advertising platforms and how it affects their purchasing decisions. According to the survey, mobile apps, games, and news sites are among the safest channels, with the lowest amount of inappropriate content. Let's explore why.

1. Apps and games integrate premium safety tools 


believe the brand
has a responsibility


believe the platform
has a responsibility

67% of consumers believe the brand has a responsibility to not advertise on platforms with inappropriate content and 74% of consumers believe the platform has a responsibility to make sure they don’t house inappropriate content. For platforms, this means building safe environments for consumers and advertisers, according to these results. For brands, this means being intentional about the platforms you choose. 

  • To combat unauthorized reselling and app spoofing, apps and games add the app-ads.txt file to their websites, which lists all the ad sources authorized to sell their inventory. 
  • Meanwhile, ad platforms that apps and games use like the ironSource Exchange have the sellers.json file, which lists out all our authorized sellers and resellers, to increase transparency and combat fraud. 
  • These ad platforms also often have the IAB Open Measurement SDK integrated to ensure that all the ads passing through are brand safe. Specifically, it gives advertisers transparency into inventory quality, ad viewability, and fraud detection. The ironSource Exchange for example has had the Open Measurement SDK integrated for 3+ years, for example. 

The consequences for deferring responsibility can be harmful, as 66% of consumers would feel negative about a brand that advertised on sites that contain inappropriate content and only 21% of consumers would continue using those brands according to the survey. Gen Xers, who have the largest spending power with 31% of all income dollars than any other generation according to reports from American Express, are the most likely (70%) to feel negative or very negative about a brand that advertised on sites that contain inappropriate content and the least likely (19%) to continue using the brand.

2. Apps and games are closed channels that don’t allow for user generated content


say hate speech is
the most common


say hate speech is
the most offensive

Hate speech is the most common (61%) and the most offensive (60%) form of inappropriate digital content, according to consumers according to the survey. The next is fake news (49%), followed by explicit material, profanity, and violence. 

Generally, these are found on channels centered around user generated content, where people can do and say as they want, whenever they want. On the other hand, mobile apps and games, news sites, and search engines don’t have space for user generated content and open dialogue, meaning ads can’t be seen next to inappropriate material people are writing and sharing. This is likely the reason why many consumers believe these sources have the smallest problem with inappropriate content compared to other channels, according to the research.

3. Ad content on apps and games is heavily monitored


of parents think that inappropriate digital content is a significant problem

More than any other generation, 72% of parents say that inappropriate digital content is a significant or very significant problem according to the survey. Because parents make the final call on where their family spends time online and have the responsibility to prevent their family from using platforms that don’t adhere to their standards, it’s especially important that the channels you use have extremely advanced and thorough review processes for inappropriate content. Otherwise, you risk missing out on a large audience not using the platforms you're running on, according to the survey results. 

The ad platforms that apps and games use have built-in features and dedicated teams to monitor and flag inappropriate content before it reaches the app. For the ironSource Exchange, that includes automatic testing as well as manual review for each and every ad that passes through. In fact, each ad is tagged according to the type of content it displays and ranked according to its maturity level. This way, the Exchange only serves the ad on apps suited for it, and inappropriate content can never make it to the app environment.

To take the ad review process a step further, there are tools that app developers can use to get visibility into all the ad content their users see, ensuring their app stays clean. 

There’s a lot of commotion in the brand advertising space right now. To ensure your brand ads are deployed on safe and clean environments, start running on apps and games through the ironSource Exchange.
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