Take care of your advertisers: How to avoid targeting issues



This week we’ve seen the enormous outrage by advertisers worldwide when the New York Times discovered that YouTube was displaying ads for their brands in extremist content available at the website. The misplaced ads were from the British newspaper “The Guardian”, but soon further investigation showed that they were not the only brand facing this issue. The damage for YouTube is nothing short of huge. More than 250 advertisers have already left the network due to misplaced ads, while many companies now wonder if their marketing budgets are not being spent showing advertisements on extremist content.

Apparently, this happened after the agency hired by the newspaper used the Google platform to set-up campaigns. Google do have the opt-out of “extreme” ads, such as sex and gambling, but their algorithm showed the ads on this kind of content. While we can’t know for now how the campaign was set up, this episode can show us how important is to set up your campaign correctly.

Here are some tips regarding targeting that might be handy if you are setting up campaigns:

  • Review your audiences. If you are advertising a game for kids, there is little sense in trying to reach teenagers. You can try to reach their parents since most kids use their parents’ cell phone to play games. Understand your audience and how they might think is the key to success here
  • Make sure to be transparent to your customers. The market is walking towards more transparency, with app names being one of hottest issues for networks.
  • Develop pockets of targeting based on your most common audiences. Example: If you normally work with games, why not use your data and develop ready-to-go targeting configurations?
  • ALWAYS review your campaigns, especially regarding in which content you want them to be displayed.


With this short tips you might be able to avoid problems and enhance your campaigns!




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