There is a curious situation that is rocking some circles of the digital marketing industry right now. In response to offensive or obscene content accidentally having their brand advertised in conjunction, JPMorgan Chase has dramatically downsized their approved websites for advertising and YouTube channels that are approved to show their ads. For some industry vernacular, this process is called “whitelisting.”
This has led George Slefo over at AdAge to wonder, “Did JPMorgan Chase just start a digital advertising revolution?”
Its experiment intensifies the spotlight on what many marketers consider a defective system for buying and selling digital advertising. Procter & Gamble, the world’s biggest advertiser, has been threatening to stop spending money with ad tech firms and publishers that don’t live up to its standards. Marketers are in revolt against YouTube after finding out that their ads were underwriting offensive video.
For months now there has been a growing concern among larger brands that their targeted advertisements weren’t actually so targeted after all. With YouTube’s True View advertising system, as well as the various display networks that create ad inventory on any web publisher that embeds it, there has been a practice among most digital media buyers that’s allowed ads to be attached to anywhere a possible customer would be–regardless of where that ad ends up.
With brand ads playing ahead of some of the wretched content that’s uploaded to YouTube or viewpoints that don’t match brand values on blogs with those brand’s ads right next to the offensive copy, it is no surprise that a company as large as financial giant JPMorgan Chase would take action. What was surprising was the results.
While other companies just pulled their advertising on the various video or ad networks, JPMorgan didn’t want to lose out on the effective reach and engagement that their ads were achieving. Why chop down the entire forest when only one tree is rotten?
Of the 400,000 web addresses JPMorgan’s ads showed up on in a recent 30-day period, said Ms. Lemkau, only 12,000, or 3 percent, led to activity beyond an impression. An intern then manually clicked on each of those addresses to ensure that the websites were ones the company wanted to advertise on. About 7,000 of them were not, winnowing the group to 5,000. The shift has been easier to execute than expected, Ms. Lemkau said, even as some in the industry warned the company that it risked missing out on audience “reach” and efficiency.
Creatively winnowing down to a list of effective, brand appropriate sites is a time-consuming effort. It was an undertaking that JPMorgan was able to take on as they had moved most of their marketing efforts in-house in recent years, including their content marketing newsroom and programmatic advertising efforts like this. Nevertheless, the results came out ahead for the bank and they can rest easy knowing that their ads are most appropriately served and being seen in appropriate venues for their brand.
If you need help identifying your programmatic whitelist, contact us today and we’ll help you achieve that peace of mind.