The current health crisis is an unprecedented event that has shaken the world. Advertisers are adapting to conditions colored by economic uncertainty, and are adjusting strategies holistically – including their approach to brand safety. News publishers are playing a critical role in keeping the public informed with trustworthy, timely information, but with so much share of voice allotted to COVID-19-related content, they are justifiably concerned about content monetization.


Last week, DoubleVerify took part in IAB’s “News Saves Lives” Virtual Town Hall. The 90-minute session brought together the entire ecosystem—brands, agencies, publishers and technology partners—to discuss how to thread the news/brand safety needle. This session took this issue straight on, and provided the latest research on changing news consumption behavior, industry trends and practical examples of how people are responding.


During the session, one of the key questions posed by the IAB was: “How can brands do the right thing by news publishers while also protecting their brand equity?” DoubleVerify’s CMO, Dan Slivjanovski, took the virtual stage to talk about how DV responded following the pandemic, and outlined the guidance, education and resources DV provided clients to help them adapt. Three key recommendations DV asked brands to consider included:

  • Exempting trusted news publishers from category avoidance.
  • Reviewing and honing keyword exclusion lists, and removing trusted news providers from coronavirus-related blocklists.
  • Adding trusted news site home pages and section home pages to exception lists.


DV worked closely with clients to discuss and implement suggested changes, and DV shared data about how outreach efforts and client adjustments to brand safety settings helped reduce overall block rates across news publishers. According to Slivjanovski, “we’ve seen a steady decline as the brands we serve have used their brand suitability toolkit to refine settings and balance protection with reach across trusted news publishers.”


Access the recording of the event on IAB’s website.


Looking to understand more about brand safety and how you can support trusted news? Contact us.


The views expressed in this post are that of the individual making them, and not necessarily of DoubleVerify. In addition, all links to non-DoubleVerify websites are the property of their respective owners and DoubleVerify assumes no responsibility for the content therein.

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