Twitter turbulence highlights the importance of brand security in social media advertising
Twitter’s current struggles with advertisers, with many of them hitting the pause button on advertising, have brought the issue of brand safety to the forefront. According to a recent study by Gurugram-based mFilterit, a company that works with advertisers to improve brand safety, at least 20-25 percent of a company’s digital advertising budget is wasted because ads are sitting in brand-unsuitable environments.
Twitter, for example, has previously had to deal with multiple advertiser requests for safety. Global advertisers such as Coca-Cola, Walt Disney, and Mazda were forced to temporarily suspend advertising on Twitter a month ago after their ads were discovered next to offensive content. Big spenders like Mondelez, Pfizer, the Volkswagen group, General Mills, and General Motors have paused the current round. Advertising and media agencies are also advising their clients to tread carefully when it comes to advertising on the platform.
According to experts, Twitter is not the only channel dealing with brand uncertainty in advertising. Google and Facebook, the two largest digital advertising platforms in India, are dealing with similar issues. With uncertainty prevailing in the tech world, the problem has become even more acute. The content curation teams, for example, were among those given pink slips by Twitter last week, both in India and globally.
The Volkswagen Group, along with several other companies, has recommended that its automotive brands, including Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley, and Porsche, pause their spending on Twitter due to concerns that their ads may appear alongside problematic content. Carlsberg Group, a Danish brewing company, also stated that it had advised its marketing teams to do the same. REI, outdoor equipment, and apparel retailer said it would pause posts as well as advertising spending “given Twitter’s uncertain future ability to moderate harmful content and ensure brand safety for advertisers.” Leslie Scott, a United Airlines spokeswoman, confirmed that the airline had suspended advertising on Twitter earlier this week. Civil rights organizations such as GLAAD and the Anti-Defamation League held a conference call on Friday urging other companies to abandon Twitter, claiming that mass layoffs were depleting an already depleted content moderation staff.