Navigating the New Era of Brand Safety & DEI


November 28, 2023

Navigating the New Era of Brand Safety & DEI

In an insightful conversation with Louis Jones, CMO of the Brand Safety Institute, we delve into the evolving interplay between brand safety and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Jones offers a comprehensive perspective on these pivotal topics shaping the advertising and media landscape.

Evolving Practices in Brand Safety

"The first era of brand safety revolved around avoiding controversial content adjacency," explains Jones. This phase, rooted in the work of TAG (Trustworthy Accountability Group), mainly tackled ad fraud, invalid traffic, and viewability. However, recent events have dramatically shifted this focus. "The deaths ofGeorge Floyd, the Covid-19 pandemic, and misinformation in the national elections heightened awareness of DEI responsibilities," states Jones. He further elaborates that the term "Fake news" has now widened to include broader issues of misinformation and disinformation, emphasizing the critical role of truthfulness in public discourse.

Future Trajectory of Brand Safety

According to Jones, brand safety is expanding its boundaries. "It's not just about ensuring ad placementsin credible publications anymore, but also about navigating social media's complex landscape," he says. Looking ahead, Jones believes that brand safety's role is evolving from merely preventing harm to actively fostering positive societal impacts. "Companies should align their core values with their business decisions, which will become increasingly significant in the years ahead," Jones suggests.

A Framework for Accountability

Jones emphasizes the importance of creating a framework for accountability in the industry. He advises that "Marketers need to define their values and align them with their media partners." This approach, whether led by clients or agencies, requires collaborative efforts for effective execution. Jones highlights the necessity for companies to go beyond safety and align their actions with their core values across all business aspects.

Concluding Insights

As we transition into this new era, Louis Jones's insights underscore the changing dynamics of brand safety and DEI. "The focus is shifting from just avoiding harm to being a force for good," Jones concludes. This evolution, as Jones articulates, will pivot on how well a company's actions resonate with its core values, guiding the advertising and media industry towards a more responsible and value-driven future.

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