Being overprotective of where their ads appear has had drawbacks for advertisers. Block lists guarantee advertisers brand-safe placements but they also come with a hefty price in terms of limited reach and engagement. As more advertisers feel the costs of artificially constraining inventory through the use of bloated block lists, they are considering placing advertising on content at the margins of their standard brand-safety strategies.
Advertisers’ new, more nuanced approach to brand safety is more focused on finding places suitable for their ads than avoiding inappropriate content. For example, a consumer packaged goods advertiser will have a different tolerance for risk (and thus for edgier content) than will an advertiser for a gaming company. Ultimately, these advertisers must figure out how to strike the right balance between being very strict on brand safety versus achieving the level of reach they need.