afaqs! news bureau

Decoding the brand safety conundrum

Industry experts at MGID presents Digipub Week discuss why brand safety is as much a concern for publishers as it is for advertisers.

The digital medium is expected to grow at 33 per cent in 2022 and is expected to become the biggest medium in India, with a 45% share of the total ad spends in the year 2022. In fact it is set to overtake TV, states the Group M ‘This Year, Next Year’ (TYNY) 2022 report.

With the rapid speed of digital adoption, creating brand safety has become a prime concern for brand marketers and publishers alike. It’s imperative for brands and their publishers to adopt efficient techniques to place ads effectively and reduce inappropriate content hampering their ad performance.

During a panel discussion at the third edition of MGID presents Digipub Week, industry experts discussed various aspects related to brand safety including brand safety vs brand suitability and various solutions to deal with the concern.

Moderated by Ashwini Gangal, managing editor, afaqs!, the panelists included Amitabh Bishnoi, vice president, digital, The New Indian Express; Amlan Pati, marketing head, digital and e-commerce, CavinKare; Bharat Khatri, chief digital officer, APAC at Omnicom Media Group; Mayura Shreyams Kumar, director- digital business at Mathrubhumi; and Pankaj Sharma, chief executive officer and director, MGID India.

In her initial remarks, Kumar of Mathrubhumi spoke of a publisher’s responsibility to ensure a brand safe environment. “We have a big responsibility to give out the correct information. If we share propaganda or fake news, advertisers will not be comfortable to advertise with us. How and where a brand is placed is really important today. Also brands have to be vocal, so if they have been placed wrongly they should be vocal. Brand is your voice and it needs to be safeguarded.”

Khatri from OMG stressed that brand safety is now more of a hygiene. “Advertising is all about the context or the environment in which the brand is showcased. The whole burden of brand safety and suitability is now being passed on to the publisher ecosystem. Advertisers have decided to cherry pick the content in which they advertise and the channel where their brand would be safe and suitable.”

CavinKare’s Pati said it's a distance that both ends have to travel together. He listed about three key challenges that he’s attempting to address. “Brand safe environment, Ad Fraud and Brand Infringement.”

Bishnoi from The New Indian Express said that advertisers are willing to pay much more to publications if they find them to be true to the users.

“If you are responsible to your users, it will not only ensure brand safety measures are in place, but every action will be defined from that aspect. We brought more transparency to our system, marked out our ad units clearly as advertisements and ensured that we didn’t write any sponsored content without a disclaimer. And we see our revenues are shooting up. Even the user appreciates when you mention your ads and content separately.”

MGID’s Sharma said that brand safety is not just relevant to the advertiser but also the publisher. “User experience and ad placement in the appropriate context are important factors today. For publishers this positively impacts the CPMs. When a user sees questionable ads on the website he may disengage with the platform. It results in lower clickthrough rates. But if you have good user engagement, it will positively impact the CPMs and advertisers will be willing to pay a premium for the same inventory for the engaged users.”

The entire session can be watched here:

Digipub Week 2022 is supported by MGID (Presenting Partner) and AndBeyond.Media (Associate Partner)


MGID is a global advertising platform helping brands reach unique local audiences at scale. It uses privacy-first, AI-based technology to serve high-quality, relevant ads in brand-safe environments. The company offers a variety of ad formats, including native, display, and video to deliver a positive user experience. This enables advertisers to drive performance and awareness, and publishers to retain and monetize their audiences.

Every month, MGID reaches 900 million unique readers, with 200 billion ad impressions, across 25 thousand trusted publishers. For more information, please visit:


AndBeyond.Media is a global SSP providing new-age ad tech solutions to publishers. Our holistic platform with technology at its epicentre caters to more than 1000 media publishers & content creators. Being in the industry for over 7 years, our sole aim is to optimize operational efficiencies, maximize yields and provide programmatic solutions in order to monetize and generate incremental revenue through advanced and varied adtech solutions.

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