Reddit offers stronger brand-safety controls with tiered ad inventory

Dive Brief:

  • Social discussion platform Reddit today is introducing inventory types for its ad offering, per a blog post. The feature is the first marketing application of “contextual intelligence” from Oracle Data Cloud, adding another layer of third-party filtering, per the post.
  • The inventory types offering includes “limited inventory” with Reddit’s brand safety measures and a controlled reach. “Expanded inventory” reaches a bigger user base and as many as 20% more communities for targeting while still meeting Reddit’s content standards, while “standard inventory” balances reach and brand protection.
  • The new feature gives advertisers three tiers of advertising inventory based on their brand-safety requirements, campaign objectives and targeting goals, per the post. 

Dive Insight:

Reddit’s rollout of three categories for ad inventory marks its latest effort to improve the brand-safety controls on its platform, which has its roots as a free-speech forum started in 2005. With the implementation of Oracle’s contextual intelligence, Reddit aims to make its platform safer for brands while also respecting user demands for open discussions about a variety of topics.

Reddit’s key advantage among social platforms is contextual-based advertising that reaches groups of enthusiasts with the highest propensity to buy products or services related to their interests. However, it’s also understandable that marketers want to avoid placing ads in discussion forums that are controversial or arouse negative sentiment that could be associated with a brand.

The offering comes as marketers grow more aware about brand-safety issues with social media platforms that distribute user-generated content (UGC). Marketers have become more active in either voicing their displeasure with the content moderation policies of social media platforms or boycotting them. In July, hundreds of brands withdrew their advertising on Facebook, the world’s biggest social network, in response to the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign led by several civil rights groups. The boycott was short-lived, but concerns about Facebook’s policies continue to dog the company.

Reddit is among the platforms and agencies that are taking steps to improve brand safety or to provide guidance on best practices. Comscore and sell-side platform Kargo each recently released new tools that help advertisers avoid advertising around certain content while still supporting high-quality publishers. WPP’s media agency group GroupM in June published a guide on managing brand safety amid the proliferation of dire news about the coronavirus pandemic, social strife, racial injustice and political squabbles during an election year. Those issues have challenged marketers to adopt the right tone in their ad messaging, while also presenting their brands in the best possible context.

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