Interactive Advertising Bureau
24 July 2020

IAB Europe Releases ‘Guide to Brand Safety & Brand Suitability Definitions & Best Practices Across Europe’


24th July 2020, Brussels, Belgium: IAB Europe, the leading European-level industry association for the digital advertising and marketing ecosystem, has today released a ‘Guide to Brand Safety & Brand Suitability Definitions & Best Practices across Europe’. The aim of this guide is to share background context on brand safety in Europe, pan-European definitions for brand safety and brand suitability with accompanying key considerations, best practices and case studies to help educate all stakeholders on ensuring brand safe environments.

With the introduction of brand suitability in the last couple of years, the guide also provides an overview of how this can complement and enhance brand safety tools to ensure a more relevant content environment for brands.

As we all know, these are confusing times for advertisers and the digital advertising industry across the globe. Luckily, IAB Europe's Brand Safety & Suitability Guide offers an expert signpost for marketers to educate themselves on the history, best practices, and success stories for modern brand safety and brand suitability. Most importantly, this guide underlines our belief that now, more than ever, we need to move beyond brand safety to a more dynamic, customised, brand suitability approach that will deliver the business results for buy side and sell-side marketers alike. Oracle Data Cloud sees collaborative industry education as a rising tide that lifts all boats, and we are always thrilled to work with IAB on these initiatives to help achieve that end.” said Richard Sharp, Senior Director, Oracle Data Cloud.

The guide was developed by experts from IAB Europe’s Quality & Transparency Taskforce (a part of the Brand Advertising Committee). Formed in January 2020, the taskforce’s aim is to combat stakeholder quality and transparency concerns and address the challenges that the industry is facing in order to fuel consumer trust and brand investment in the digital advertising and marketing ecosystem. Following on from IAB Europe’s industry poll brand safety which demonstrated the need for more education and guidance, the taskforce agreed that their first priority was to address the need for harmonised pan-European brand safety and brand suitability definitions.

"The new Brand Safety & Brand Suitability Guide brings advice, education and actionable insights to the industry, to help the whole ecosystem drive better business outcomes. At IAS, we are committed to supporting the industry transition from brand safety, to brand suitability and so we are thrilled to partner with IAB Europe on this important work. At IAS, we believe that a more nuanced, contextually driven approach to brand protection opens brands up to more engagement opportunities, whilst also supporting publisher revenue opportunities. This guide should be read by all within digital advertising, both for the benefit of their own business, but also the industry as a whole." said Nick Morley, MD EMEA, Integral Ad Science.

Made up of publishers, advertising agencies, advertising verification companies, technology partners and national IABs, the group came together to review existing brand safety and brand suitability criteria to establish clear and concise definitions that can be used at a European level.

Commenting on National IABs contributing to the European Brand Safety and Brand Suitability Guide, Giordano Buttazzo, Ad Tech Manager for IAB Italy said “The attention paid by the Brands to the content in which they appear has been a point of considerable attention for several years now, with a strong connotation of subjectivity. Over time, the safe/unsafe dichotomy has allowed more room for intermediate nuances, which every brand has the opportunity to calibrate. It is essential that these concepts are clear to everyone across Europe, to avoid Brand Safety being a counterproductive filter for media buying. This guide helps brands and media buyers to consider all of the elements available to truly leverage and enhance their Brand Safety management processes."

Contributors to the guide included:

  • Tanzil Bukhari, Managing Director EMEA - DoubleVerify
  • Stevan Randjelovic, Director, Brand Safety & Digital Risk EMEA, GroupM
  • Karim Attia, Ambassador, BVDW / IAB Germany
  • Myriam Hamied, Communications & Program Manager, IAB France
  • Giordano Buttazzo, Ad Tech Manager, IAB Italy
  • Małgorzata Walendziewska, Special Programs Manager, IAB Poland
  • Andreas Dooley, Head of Agency Sales, EMEA, Oracle Data Cloud
  • Joanne Coombs, Senior Business Development Partner, EMEA, Oracle Data Cloud
  • Craig Ziegler, VP Verification Product, Integral Ad Science
  • Nick Morley, MD EMEA, Integral Ad Science
  • Lisa Kalyuzhny, Senior Director, Advertiser Solutions EMEA, PubMatic

The guide follows on from IAB Europe’s recent Quality Initiatives Navigator which provides an overview of the initiatives being undertaken by National IABs to build and ensure a sustainable future for digital advertising and marketing.

Download the Guide here

For more information, please contact:

Helen Mussard, IAB Europe ( / +44 7399 919 594)

Marie-Clare Puffett, IAB Europe ( / +44 7973 836 917)


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