Posted on Aug 29, 2017

Content Matters: Why Advertisers are Shying Away from Traditional Video Placements


Brand safety has dominated headlines this year.  From YouTube and Facebook losing advertisers over concerns of creatives being positioned against undesirable content, to third party activists like Sleeping Giants making brands aware of where they are showcased, publishers need to pay close attention to their content now more than ever. 

Digital revenue from video is at an all time high and fast becoming a significant revenue stream for newspaper dot coms.  However, if an advertiser has concerns about being positioned against unsavory content, they are quick to scrub their whitelists.  And while the earlier concerns of brand safety this year dealt with more blatant content (terrorism, violence, drugs etc), advertisers are now paying attention to social and political climates as well.

Digiday looked at a recent trend in light of the recent events in Charlottesville, VA.  Their article talks about a programmatic agency blocking ads against keywords such as ”Nazis” and “Charlottesville”.  This led their client’s ads to blacklist hundreds of sites including Fox News.  Further along in the article, they showcase an example of a Chicago based media agency who pulled advertising for clients from all political coverage.  

Media agency execs are now having discussions with their clients about dissecting mainstream news sites with advertisers to determine which content to block.  Articles on terrorism, violence and racism are proving too dangerous for brands to be affiliated with.

The "Dirty Dozen" content categories from Grapeshot Marketing

With such volatile opinions on both sides of the spectrum, publishers need to start focusing on delivering more neutral content to satisfy the growing number of advertisers who are concerned with the videos they are positioned against.

For example, at STN we focus on sports, with an emphasis on brands that are trusted and established.  Publishers feel comfortable using our content because, while engaging and entertaining, it is relatively neutral.  Advertisers, in turn, get a sense of security knowing that their creative will be positioned against trusted, safe and reliable content.  We curate our content daily and ensure that what the publishers receive is relevant, local and audience friendly.

Public opinion is fickle.  For both publishers and advertisers to roll the dice on their revenue stream by offering content that, depending on shifting attitudes, could be deemed offensive without notice is a risky venture.  However, there are troves of content available that will not only remain safe for brands, but attract and build audiences.  

About SendtoNews

SendtoNews is North America’s leading sports video and advertising platform. The company has created an expanding publisher network that now includes more than 1500 sports news properties across North America on marquee brands such as USA Today, LA Times, New York Daily News, Chicago Tribune, The Arizona Republic, San Francisco Chronicle, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Houston Chronicle, Cincinnati Enquirer and the Detroit Free Press.

SendtoNews currently generates over 200 million monthly video views through the distribution of exclusive and semi-exclusive content from 75+ sports leagues, including MLB, NBA, NHL, PGA TOUR, NCAA and Premier League Soccer.

SendtoNews' sports video content is both VAST and VPAID compliant and the architecture of its video player technologies, as well as its independent analytics partnerships, address market needs for transparency around viewability and invalid traffic.

For brand advertising inquiries, email For content distribution inquiries, please email
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Media Contact

David Davies
VP, Corporate Communications
Toll-free: 855-590-1991
E-mail: david.davies at sendtonews dot com

Contact us online or call toll free 855.590.1991 to learn more.