GumGum, the contextual first, global advertising platform, has announced that it is upgrading its ad exchange to include enhanced brand safety protection through Verity™, its proprietary and accredited contextual intelligence platform. The move positions GumGum as the first 100% brand safe exchange in the digital advertising industry. While this move is being touted as a step in the right direction, the question remains, can any programmatic ad platform truly be 100% safe?

In recent years, brand safety has become a top concern for advertisers, especially after some high-profile incidents where ads were served against extremist content. To address these concerns, many advertisers have turned to pre-bid solutions or their own safety filters. However, GumGum believes that it is its responsibility to ensure the safety of the supply side by integrating an additional layer of protection in its exchange with Verity.

Verity is the first independent ad tech platform to have been granted content-level accreditation by the Media Rating Council (MRC) for contextual analysis, brand safety, and suitability across the web and CTV. This accreditation was granted due to Verity’s sophistication and ability to analyze all content signals within a digital environment, including text, images, videos, and audio, to ensure ads are not served against extreme and unsafe content.

By integrating Verity across its ad exchange, GumGum aims to provide a safe environment for brands and agencies to advertise in. Adam Schenkel, EVP of Global Platform Strategy and Operations at GumGum, said, “We want brands and agencies to know that when they buy from GumGum’s ad exchange, they can always rely on brand safety and suitability protection, whether that’s through our exchange or PMP activity. Buyers can be assured that every ad we serve has been verified by Verity, creating a safe ad environment against extreme content.”

While this sounds promising, the reality is that no programmatic ad platform can be 100% safe. Advertisers and publishers alike need to understand that the internet is a constantly evolving and unpredictable space, and there will always be risks involved. It’s important to note that GumGum is not claiming to be 100% safe from all risks, but rather from brand safety concerns.

GumGum’s approach is one step towards building a safer environment for digital advertising. However, there are still other issues in the programmatic ad industry that need to be addressed, such as ad fraud and non-human traffic. To ensure quality inventory at scale and an efficient supply chain, GumGum has integrated MediaGuard by HUMAN into the exchange to remove non-human and fraud traffic. This integration is a positive step in the right direction to address these issues.

Another concern that advertisers have is the accuracy and reliability of the content they advertise against. To address this issue, GumGum has integrated with NewsGuard, which deploys real journalists to fact-check news publications to ensure content accuracy, reliability and access to high-performing inventory. This integration will provide brands and agencies with greater confidence in the quality of the inventory they are advertising against.

GumGum’s ad exchange offers higher quality ads and increased scale across thousands of premium publisher sites that are third-party verified. The exchange provides media buyers with unique, high-performing inventory that is exclusive to GumGum and can be accessed easily through a DSP without a managed deal or campaign by GumGum account teams. The exchange is also one of the industry’s highest concentration of direct to publisher integrations, which enables the company to provide the most direct route to premium, high-quality inventory for media buyers.

GumGum’s focus on inclusivity is also a positive step. The exchange will allow advertisers to maximize their KPIs by targeting audiences through customized segments such as multicultural and sustainability with standard and non-standard ad formats that are suitable for different devices and placements.

While no programmatic ad platform can truly be 100% safe, GumGum’s integration of Verity, MediaGuard by HUMAN, and NewsGuard into its ad exchange is a positive step towards providing a safer environment for brands and agencies to advertise in. The company’s focus on inclusivity and providing unique, high-performing inventory also makes it an attractive option for media buyers. However, it’s important for advertisers and publishers to understand that there will always be risks involved in digital advertising, and it’s up to all parties to take necessary precautions to mitigate these risks.

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