Digital advertising


By John-Paul Danon, CAN Sales Director. Originally posted 14 June 2017

There are two key risks for public sector when buying advertising through programmatic exchanges or on digital platforms:

  • Funding criminal sites
  • Placing ads in inappropriate contexts

The first risk is relatively simple to mitigate. Limit your buying to established and legitimate publishers only. Newspapers have been highlighting the risks of advertising on the Google platform in the hope that it stems the flow of advertising spend away from their platforms.

Newspapers, whilst not criminal organisations, cannot guarantee that your ad does not appear in an inappropriate context – see this example.

Whilst there is no such thing as zero risk, you can substantially mitigate the risk of your ad appearing in the wrong context by employing the following strategies:

  • Block lists – at CAN we have an extensive block list of words and phrases which, if they appear on the page, we will not bid to place a client’s ad.
  • White lists – select safe and inoffensive topics such as embroidery, gardening and only place advertising around these channels. This approach dramatically reduces reach so can be limiting if you need to get a message to many people in a short space of time.