Brand Safety Violations: Consumers question brand’s motives.

Wonder what a brand safety violation means for your customers or prospects? This article from Marketing Dive explains:

Consumers believe brands intentionally place ads next to unsafe content, study says

Why? Because…

People believe advertisers picked where their ads will be placed.

“When people see online ads, they assume the advertiser picked that location intentionally. But that’s typically not the case. Even though organizations rarely select where web ads appear, ads paired with what your members may consider inappropriate content can have a nasty impact on your association’s brand, according to Daniel Avital, chief strategy officer at security and brand-safety firm CHEQ.” says this article on AssociationsNow

“75% of companies report being exposed to brand safety issues, but only 26% have taken some kind of action, and 15% haven’t adjusted their strategies at all.” – MarketingDive

“Seventy-five percent of companies report being exposed to brand safety issues, but only 26% have taken some kind of action, and 15% haven’t adjusted their strategies at all, according to research by GumGum and Custom. Another study by Sizmek found that four in 10 brands report delivering ads on unsafe websites, but 64% find it tough to implement an effective brand safety strategy, and 64% think achieving brand safety can negatively impact how quickly a campaign optimizes.”

“Whitelisting, which only allows ads to be placed in approved environments, may in fact be the best brand safety insurance.” – AdWeek

But, as Marketing Dive adds: “A simple solution is for associations to blacklist certain websites, so ads can’t appear on them, and then to whitelist sites they consider safe. While this is better than an approach that takes no precautions, Avital says new sites can always crop up that aren’t on the blacklist. And whitelisting severely limits the sites that ads can appear on, meaning organizations may not be reaching the people they would like to.”

The solution: Whitelisting from TrustedOut’s AI-Profiled Media database. Safe, large, unbiased, universal, up-to-date:

Related post:

Media profiles are key to Business Intelligence and Advertising. [updated]

Questions? Contact us!


54.6% US CMOs reviewed their agency relationships because of Brand Safety

Credits: eMarketer

The Brand Safety Dilemma.

In its report, eMarketing writes: “Virtually all brands are making changes in how they operate in digital media to be safer going forward. This includes demanding more transparency and investing more ad dollars in quality environments.”

We could not agree more.

TrustedOut offers to fix Brand Safety with its AI-Operated Whitelisting.

Question? Contact us!


Need for Media Profiles Lists? Unilever agrees.

[click to read article]

[Source and credits: AdAge]

On Monday, we wrote:

Media profiles are key to Business Intelligence and Advertising.

Unilever launches “Trusted Publisher” list.

AdAge writes: “Unilever is launching a Trusted Publishers network that goes beyond the standard audience-verification, anti-fraud and brand-safety guidelines of most marketer ‘whitelists.'”

“Both the publishers and the criteria will be continuously re-assessed”

“We’re aiming to have as many publishers as possible, but they need to go through these selection criteria,” DiComo says. Both the publishers and the criteria will be continuously re-assessed, he says, “because the space is moving so quickly.”

Unilever’s initiative is logic.

Knowing: 4 in 10 brands deliver ads on unsafe sites – Cision

Consequently: 70% implement black or white lists…

… but 64% fear negative impacts on performance.  71% fear to not achieve reach while delivering to the right audience in the right context. – Cision & Digiday

Consequently, the solution is to:

1/ Have marketers define their white lists themselves for each campaign, each brand. And align in each country.

2/ Have those lists automatically built, maintained and updated, directly serving the trading desk.

Bottom line: Keep your Brand Safe, let TrustedOut manage your white lists.

Watch a demo.

Contact us:



Media profiles are key to Business Intelligence and Advertising. [updated]

Example of a taxonomy DNA:
Mouse over to zoom

Click to zoom

Media profiling:
Collection and Classification.

TrustedOut profiles media via data collection to gather intangible data and content classification to evaluate expertise and perception.

Data collection.

From a domain, here for our example,, TrustedOut will collect a lot of intangible data such as: its name: Better Homes and Gardens, the owner, here, Meredith Corporation, the organization type, here it’s a Private company, find if content orientations are declared, here, no political, no religious orientations, the online traffic, the revenue, the number of employees, etc, etc…

All those informations are important when defining what the analyst, the CMO, the ad agency, trust, and want to base intelligence, fully ensure brand safety, understand who’s receptive to a message, a promotion, etc…

Content classification.

Content classification is used primarily for our taxonomy and to understand how an information source is perceived, like “spotted as” fake news, junk science, conspiracy theory…

Here’s how it works:

Mouse over to zoom

Let’s have look at’s taxonomy.

As described above, our AI-operated taxonomy permanently assesses where the site is good at, meaning non only, the subjects covered, but also, the level of expertise.

Another view of’s taxonomy is below with the top classification level and a drill down on this top level, here: People.

Our taxonomy tells us BHG is Specialized in:

People › Entertainment And Leisure
People › Entertainment And Leisure › Gardening
People › Entertainment And Leisure › DIY (Do It Yourself)
People › Lifestyle
People › Lifestyle › Food And Beverage (yes! BHG has a recipes section)
People › Lifestyle › Decoration And Design And Architecture Specialized
People › Lifestyle › Home

and BHG covers the following:

People › Society › Family
People › Culture And Arts › Museum And Exhibition
People › Lifestyle › Feminine
People › Culture And Arts › Movies
People › Sports › Gymnastics And Fitness And Yoga
People › Sports › Horse Riding
People › Education › Preschool And Primary School
Sciences › Medicine And Health › Personal Health
Industries › Transportation › Bus

… and BHG has a Limited coverage in:

Sciences › Human Sciences › Sociology

Machine learning operates our Taxonomy and online perception to keep our database of media profiles, unbiased, universal and always up-to-date.

Importance for Business Intelligence:
No trust, no Intelligence.

Say you are in the food market and want to understand how some cuisine types are perceived amongst specialized publications in America:

To feed your intelligence tools, such as Digimind (demo here), your Corpus will look like this.

16,000+ sources (49k new articles abstracts a day) will ensure you analyze, and thus base your strategic decisions, on content you define.

Would you have thought Better Homes and Gardens would be part of your Corpus? At first, Home and Garden does not sound like Food and beverage specialist, does it? (well, if you are looking for Chicken recipes, it’s here).

This anecdote is to point out the need for both an unbiased and universal classification and a depth of expertise from the content you will base your decisions on.

It is critical you trust the right, and all the right, publications to trust any intelligence coming out of those publications. Depth and width.

No Trust, No Intelligence.

Importance for Advertising:
Brand Safety and Budget Optimization.

Here, you want to advertise your new product to the US Food Market. Keeping your brand safe will be your top priority… After all, you will pay to increase your business, not ruin the brand reputation it took you years to build.

Brand Safety is top priority for CEOs and CMOs.

For your online ad campaign, the trading desk of your advertising agency will define the query, with, amongst other things, desired and not-desired keywords, to select the content you trust compatible with your brand.

But a page can match all those criteria but be published on a site not safe or compatible with the advertiser’s brand. You must also select the publications you trust compatible with your brand.

Otherwise, your brand is at risk. And advertisers know and fear it:

4 in 10 brands deliver ads on unsafe sites – Cision

The only solution for the CMO to be certain to keep brands safe: Define himself the lists of publications he trusts compatible with her/his brands.


70% implement black or white lists… – Digiday

But while the vast majority is using lists, the vast majority is unhappy with the solution. As of today:

… but 64% fear negative impacts on performance.  71% fear to not achieve reach while delivering to the right audience in the right context. – Cision

Consequently, the solution is to:

1/ Have marketers define their white lists themselves for each campaign, each brand. And align in each country.

2/ Have those lists automatically built, maintained and updated, directly serving the trading desk.

Bottom line: Keep your Brand Safe, let TrustedOut manage your white lists.

Let’s go back to our US Food Market example. Our marketer, here, wants to build a white list of US based publications, specialized in Food and Beverage and also wants them to be in business for more than 3 years, not politically, nor religiously oriented and, of course, not spotted as fake news, hate news or junk science.

Corpus looks like above and now more than 9,000+ sources are immediately available to be imported or live feeding your trading desk.

Trading desk runs its query within the perimeter of the white list. Best of both worlds, search and directory.
Brand is now totally safe.

Run more where it returns more.

In addition, Media Profiles bring ad budget optimization.

By adding media profiles to a campaign report, marketers and agencies can surface media with the best ROI and thus, increase budgets where return is optimal.

BHG works best for your campaign? Let’s get more of this profile and spend your ad budget where it makes the most sense.


AdWeek just published this article “The Areas Where Brand Safety Measures Fall Short” and wrote

“Whitelisting, which only allows ads to be placed in approved environments, may in fact be the best brand safety insurance.”

Questions? Shoot!


New demo page showcasing TrustedOut and BI, Ads and PR

A new demo page has been added to

The scenario


ACME is a sport car maker launching a new model extensively using Artificial Intelligence (AI). ACME has 2 main countries, US and France and wonder what market to test first.

1. Corpus Intelligence for Business Intelligence: Market selection.

New corpus, the CMO (or Marketing Manager) defines 3 conditions to be necessary.
a. Where are the publications? We said France and the United States
b. What should these publications be about? ACME wants to grab how AI is perceived from publications covering Politics, for regulations, Law, for any legal aspects, Tech, to gauge technology used and perceptions and, of course, Transportation, for anything car related.
c. Want to be safe from any toxic content? Of course, no fake new and no junk science TrustedOut classification knows how gauge the expertise level of a source and how sensitive to the news the taxonomy should be. At this stage, we want generalist publications by setting the expertise level to “Covered” Here is the corresponding query for our Corpus, which we are going to name “ACME AI in new model”.

Go to the demo page >

2. Corpus Intelligence for Brand Safety & Campaigns. White listing.

ACME’s CMO wants to check if Pure Player Media (media only available online) is a good target. After all, Pure Players should be more reactive and not having to sync print, for example, that can be daily, weekly or monthly, with immediate online publishing. Let’s go back to TrustedOut and change the Corpus as follow: a. Where are the publications? We now want to limit to France. b. Select Pure Players? We want media where “out of digital” is set to None to only get those not publishing on any other support.

Go to the demo page >

3. Corpus Intelligence for Coverage & Content Analytics. PR campaigning.

Digimind gives us the key concepts to write our Press Release: European Union/Commission and Neuronal Networks. With the Corpus we have what publications to target, with those key concepts we have how to write a Press Release that will interest those targets.

Go to the demo page >

Questions? Shoot!

Presentation to the GESTE (major online editors in France)

We were very proud to be invited to present at the latest GESTE (major online editors in France) event about “Trust and labelization“.

The presentation.

Click to run presentation


The Table of Content.

The problem:
Distrust in media.

The consequence:
In decision-making, only what is trusted in can be trusted out.

The point:
Distrust is general, trust is personal. No universal list.

The logic:
Trust is about reputation. Media Brands are about reputation.

The solution:
Industrial Profiling Media Brands.

The application:
Easy querying, live feeding.

The technology:
Machine learning, Web crawling, big data and microservices to self-feed, self-grow and daily validations

Our live taxonomy:
Permanent machine learning, customizable sensitiveness & specialty depth,
enterprise mapping.

The opportunity:
BI, Ads & PR

Question? shoot!


Get information from Traditional Media, have conversation on Social Media. Not the other way around.

Misinformation and biases infect social media, both intentionally and accidentally

This highly recommended article from The Conversation exposes 3 types of bias identified by Indiana University. Hereafter are our takeaways.

1/ Bias in the brain

More information means less quality content shared

“Cognitive biases originate in the way the brain processes the information that every person encounters every day. The brain can deal with only a finite amount of information, and too many incoming stimuli can cause information overload. That in itself has serious implications for the quality of information on social media. We have found that steep competition for users’ limited attention means that some ideas go viral despite their low qualityeven when people prefer to share high-quality content.”

Beware emotions in headline trap

“One cognitive shortcut happens when a person is deciding whether to share a story that appears on their social media feed. People are very affected by the emotional connotations of a headline, even though that’s not a good indicator of an article’s accuracy.”

What matters is where it’s coming from.

“Much more important is who wrote the piece.”

TrustedOut foundation: profile who’s behind to evaluate your trustworthiness appreciation and the path to greater trust in media:

Optimism and method for greater trust in media.

2/ Bias in society

Like seeks like (“Birds of a feather flock together”)

“When people connect directly with their peers, the social biases that guide their selection of friends come to influence the information they see. …social networks are particularly efficient at disseminating information – accurate or not – when they are closely tied together and disconnected from other parts of society.”

“Us vs Them”

“The tendency to evaluate information more favorably if it comes from within their own social circles creates echo chambers that are ripe for manipulation, either consciously or unintentionally. This helps explain why so many online conversations devolve into “us versus them” confrontations.”

We are right. Distrust in fact-checking

“…during the 2016 U.S. presidential elections [analysis] shows that Twitter accounts that shared misinformation were almost completely cut off from the corrections made by the fact-checkers. When we drilled down on the misinformation-spreading accounts, we found a very dense core group of accounts retweeting each other almost exclusively – including several bots. The only times that fact-checking organizations were ever quoted or mentioned by the users in the misinformed group were when questioning their legitimacy or claiming the opposite of what they wrote.

3/ Bias in the machine

Getting more of the same. Accurate. Or not.

“The third group of biases arises directly from the algorithms used to determine what people see online. Both social media platforms and search engines employ them. These personalization technologies are designed to select only the most engaging and relevant content for each individual user. But in doing so, it may end up reinforcing the cognitive and social biases of users, thus making them even more vulnerable to manipulation.”

Illusory truth effect. Repeat until it feels true.

“For instance, the detailed advertising tools built into many social media platforms let disinformation campaigners exploit confirmation bias by tailoring messages to people who are already inclined to believe them. Also, if a user often clicks on Facebook links from a particular news source, Facebook will tend to show that person more of that site’s content. This so-called “filter bubble” effect may isolate people from diverse perspectives, strengthening confirmation bias.”

Popularity bias. More clicks makes it feel more true.

“Another important ingredient of social media is information that is trending on the platform, according to what is getting the most clicks. We call this popularity bias, because we have found that an algorithm designed to promote popular content may negatively affect the overall quality of information on the platform. This also feeds into existing cognitive bias, reinforcing what appears to be popular irrespective of its quality.”

Get information from Traditional Media, have conversation on Social Media. Not the other way around.

Unsurprisingly, and somewhat reassuring, numbers from Reuters/Oxford (hereafter for the US) show trust in social media are the lowest with 13% vs 34% for news overall and the highest at 50% with News/Media I use. (we developed this with this post “While distrust is general, trust definition is personal.“)

Related posts:

Saving journalism. [updated 2/19/19]

Top 2019 predictions: Privacy and Transparency

TrustedOut’s market

Questions? Comments? Contact us!



Older people share more fake news.

Age predicts behavior better than any other characteristics (even party affiliation )

Researchers at New York and Princeton Universities, through their recent surveys, are saying older users shared more fake news than younger ones regardless of education, sex, race, income, or how many links they shared. [source: The Verge]

7 times more fake news sharing

“But older users skewed the findings: 11 percent of users older than 65 shared a hoax, while just 3 percent of users 18 to 29 did. Facebook users ages 65 and older shared more than twice as many fake news articles than the next-oldest age group of 45 to 65, and nearly seven times as many fake news articles as the youngest age group (18 to 29).”

Profiling media sources…

“It won’t be easy: how to determine whether a person is digitally literate remains an open question. But at least some of the issue is likely to come down to design: fake news spreads quickly on Facebook in part because news articles generally look identical in the News Feed, whether they are posted by The New York Times or a clickbait farm.”

… to build trust.

Profiling sources so limit fake news spreading is similar, in logic, to profiling sources to limit misleading intelligence. We call it “Corpus Intelligence” and will focus on B2B solutions. In production end Q1 2019.