Twitter has announced new partnership agreements with both DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science in order to provide advertisers with increased assurance around the placement of their ads within the app, and safeguard against potential brand association with controversial content on the platform.
As explained by Twitter:
"We've selected DoubleVerify (DV) and Integral Ad Science (IAS) to be Twitter's preferred partners for providing independent reporting on the context in which ads appear on Twitter. We see this as an opportunity to build solutions that will give advertisers a better understanding of the types of content that appear adjacent to their ads, helping them make informed decisions to reach their marketing goals."
Brand adjacency became a larger concern back in 2017 when various major brands pulled their YouTube ad spend due to their promotions appearing alongside videos promoting extremist views and/or hate speech. That sparked all the major digital platforms to provide more assurance and brand safety tools, and Twitter is now looking to also upgrade its approach, in line with rising industry standards.
Twitter says that it's been conducting a review of various potential verification and review partners over the last few months, in order to improve its brand safety options.
"We're excited to make this announcement, knowing that there has never been a third-party brand safety solution built to measure for adjacency to brand unsafe content in an environment like Twitter, which is both real-time and dynamic. We look forward to partnering with both DV and IAS to create custom solutions for our unique platform and we intend to start testing solutions in early 2021."
Given the nature of Twitter, both in terms of its real-time content focus and its personalized user feeds, it's a difficult proposal for a review partner to take on, in order to provide accurate, reliable advice as to where, exactly, ads will be placed. It'll be hard for Twitter to say, for sure, that ads won't be shown alongside controversial content, but that's what these new partners now need to assess, in order to facilitate new tools and approaches to ensure that advertisers can select brand-safe options for their campaigns.
That said, Twitter does also note that its own research has shown no indication that adjacency between ads and divisive content on its platform has impacted brand favorability.
In addition to this, Twitter says that it will also undergo an accreditation process across all four of the Media Ratings Council’s offered Accreditation Services: Viewability, Sophisticated Invalid Traffic Filtration, Audience Measurement, and Brand Safety.
"We will be prioritizing the Brand Safety audit first, and have already started the proposal process for this accreditation."
These are important steps for Twitter and its ad partners, which will provide more options for businesses moving forward, as they seek to maximize their Twitter ad campaigns. As noted, brand safety tools are now the norm, and if digital platforms want to maximize their revenue opportunities, they need to invest in such to maximize appeal.