Jul 13
“Flight to quality” sees brands focus on sponsored editorial

“Flight to quality” sees brands focus on sponsored editorial

by Shaun

A recent report by MediaRadar suggests that marketers and advertisers are now doubling down on the quality of content following a notable drop-off in the spend on programmatic advertising this year. Native ads consisting of relevant and targeted written articles and videos saw a 74 percent increase in placements during the first quarter.

The study found that sponsored editorial is particularly popular at the moment due to a trend that MediaRadar describes as a “flight to quality.” The desire to create more organic content that delivers a better return on investment has partly been driven by industry-wide concerns about brand safety and fraud in 2017, of which there have been several high-profile cases.

“For many years, the transition of dollars from direct ad buying to programmatic seemed inevitable and impossible to roll back,” MediaRadar CEO and co-founder Todd Krizelman said. “But the near-constant drumbeat of concern over brand safety and fraud in the first six months of 2017 has slowed the tide.”

Brands and marketers are also enjoying more success by targeting ads and content to niche and enthusiastic audiences as well as those in different regions. This again highlights the importance of effective localised pieces that reach and engage with a wider potential customer base.

Meanwhile, British broadcaster Channel 4 said that it enjoyed a surge in ad spend in the spring following the digital brand safety scandal on YouTube, but the uptick was short-lived, as the majority of brands and advertisers have since returned to Google’s video sharing platform.

Speaking at Channel 4’s yearly report event on Wednesday, Sales Director Jonathan Allan said that the furore over ads appearing near offensive and extremist content on YouTube resulted in a number of major brands leaving Google’s ad initiative en masse, but the switch to more traditional content didn’t last. He also claimed that the TV ad industry is currently “in a recession” due to strained budgets.

“We did see a bit of money move out of YouTube, particularly around April/May,” Allan said. “It feels like they have made certain commitments to advertisers around whitelisting and getting rid of that content. There are some advertisers that still aren’t on YouTube, and it is a relatively reasonable number, but the majority have gone back on to some degree. It was a short-term benefit.”

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