ISBA fights grisly ad placements

laptop upsetISBA is stressing the importance of its new online brand safety scheme after reports that ads for charities and brands – including RSPB, Shelter and Dove – have been appearing on Facebook group pages about rape and violence.
The social networking giant has been heavily criticised in the past for failing to remove graphic material quickly, but recent reports have exposed the severity of the issue.
According to Laura Bates, the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, Dove Cosmetics, and the RSPB are among those who have complained to Facebook that group pages with titles such as “Raping!” and “Drop kicking sluts in the teeth” have all featured their ads.
Meanwhile Vodafone found its commercial content featured on a page called “This is why Indian girls are raped”, alongside pictures of scantily clad Indian women.
Facebook maintains ads are targeted towards individual users, not towards pages, and claims it aims to act quickly to remove offensive material deemed to be “genuinely or directly harmful”.
But ISBA’s marketing services manager David Ellison said: “Advertisers take online brand safety very seriously, as an ad served against inappropriate content can result in considerable reputational damage. Latest concerns over Facebook pages have brought into sharp focus the need to reduce the risk of ad misplacement across the digital trading market. Advertisers need to have confidence in the systems they rely on, including Facebook.”
Using a set of Good Practice Principles, the ISBA initiative – run jointly with the IPA – serves to protect advertisers from the considerable reputational damage arising from advertising in association with inappropriate content.
The scheme is calling on suppliers and facilitators of online advertising inventory to commit in principle to having their ad misplacement minimisation processes independently verified by August 2013.

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