A newly formed Advertiser Protection Bureau (APB) was unveiled by 4A’s, calling on media agencies to put competition aside in the name of brand safety.
The APB initiative is designed to be a “united community” of media agencies, each playing watchdog online and notifying one another if their respective clients’ ads appear in an unsafe environment. Agencies who join the APB initiative will share the collective responsibility of reporting brand safety concerns. The initiative would also notify brands of safety incidents that could affect them, too, such as fraud.
The initiative was unveiled during the 4A’s Accelerate conference on Wednesday.
“When it comes to brand and consumer safety, media agencies have to put competition aside,” said Louis Jones, EVP, media & data at the 4A’s in a statement. “Brand safety and the negative impact it has on consumer trust is an issue that affects everyone.”
With the formation of APB, 4A’s outlined a series of next steps, with the goal of reaching a safe environment for both brands and consumers, referred to as “advertising assurance.”
These next steps include developing a risk management module that measures risk fom “safe” to “least safe.” Advertisers will be able to choose a safe level of risk based on preference—for example, if a brand wants to maintain a wholesome persona online vs. ads that are purposely controversial.
APB will also create a code of decency, working with the Media Rating Council. Ground rules will be established with the help of agencies inside the APB.
An industry playbook will be developed by APB that will include new standards, metrics, methodologies and tools to combat unsafe environments. The playbook will be designed to educate the advertising ecosystem about safety for both brands and consumers.
Marla Kaplowitz, 4A’s president and CEO, said that advertising assurance requires a holistic approach of responsibility to consumers, brands and each other.
“Advertising assurance can’t happen if we’re not communicating with each other and working together,” she said.