Is Hiring Humans For Digital Video Anti-Ad Tech?


Advertising tech may be the best thing for many digital video platforms — and marketers. But think about where humans fit in with this — considering what has gone on with YouTube and Facebook.

Those two major digital video platforms have made multiple announcements about having actual human beings monitor programs and advertising content — all to appease big-time brand marketers that worry about “brand safety.”

Many issues aren’t going away.

At the recent IAB event, consumer products company Unilever had a simple message for major digital players: “Hey, get your act together.” A year ago — at the same event — Procter & Gamble issued the same warning.

One effort to focus on “responsible” web areas had Unilever touting “blockchain” technology platforms to help maintain brand safety efforts. That said, it didn’t mention the need for any platforms to use human monitors.

No matter. Traditional TV networks are probably applauding these efforts — especially when it comes to having actual people make a determination of what is appropriate content for advertisers.

This is something TV networks have done for decades, with far fewer brand-safety issues. Admittedly, there is less inventory to monitor than on many digital media platforms.

The rub, of course, is that hiring more humans at YouTube and Facebook takes away from the efficiencies of their automated or self-serve media-buying systems — especially for those smaller or direct-response marketers.

The flip side is that TV-media buying executives have been imploring TV networks to become more much automated, programmatic, or to develop more targeted/futuristic addressable platforms — both on the national and local level. That’s similar to digital media.

In the near term, real trust of digital platforms by consumer product giants and other advertisers will not come easy.

Should digital video providers cut their glut — program or advertising content — to help showcase better-quality content? That would hurt their financial model.

Until then, bad actors will find a way to create fake accounts that elicit misleading, manipulative and fake content.

Don’t be surprise to see more iffy video of dead bodies, animals or other off-the-wall political messaging that causes disruption. For many, it’s a non-stop media traffic accident for all to see.


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