VICE calls upon media + advertising industries to reconsider brand safety practices and techniques in support of diverse and inclusive content

VICE_Logo.jpgVICE has released alarming findings surrounding flawed brand safety techniques that steer marketers away from important and necessary subjects including race, religion and LGBTQIA issues.

As this continues to be an important topic for marketers everywhere, there is no doubt that brand safety is a priority in the industry.

A widespread response to these concerns has been the adoption of "keyword blacklists," which are lengthy lists of specific words and phrases alongside which the brand asserts their campaign is forbidden to run. The use of keyword blacklists has reached an all-time high due to the unquestioning expectation of publishers to adhere to them.
Recognizing flaws in this system, VICE investigated its own keyword data infractions over the course of 18 months. VICE presented these findings at the NewFront West, revealing that these lists restrict content that promote diversity and inclusion, while calling upon the industry to refresh its practices.

The term "gay" is one of the most flagged keywords; placing higher on the list than "rape," "death," "heroin," and "gun."

Other LGBTQIA descriptors including "transgender" and "bisexual" placed higher on the list than "shooting," "porn," "killing," "drugs," and "war."

Heritage and race terms including "Asian," "Muslim" and "interracial" landed top spots on the list.

Says Dominique Delport, global chief revenue officer and president of international, VICE: "VICE's storytelling lends itself to the most diverse generations in history. Our content aims to accurately represent these young people while simultaneously promoting diversity and inclusion. Unfortunately, the improper use of keyword blacklists is counterproductive to this mission, resulting in unintended consequences. We hope more brands will join in this discussion and help set a new industry standard."

To uphold inclusiveness throughout all of its content while simultaneously fostering brand safe environments, VICE has become the first company to implement Oracle Data Cloud's contextual brand safety solution for video.

Rather than assigning brand safety risk through keywords, VICE will now feed its content through the Oracle Data Cloud's Contexual Intelligence platform to analyze subjects and themes. Based on a detailed analysis of the content, Oracle Data Cloud assigns a brand safety score.  Brands then have the option to allow or block their advertising from running alongside video based on the specific score for that content.

Says Andrew Smith, head of publisher strategy, Oracle Data Cloud: "Oracle Data Cloud's Contextual Intelligence platform is designed to drive deeper understanding of many forms of content, and we're excited to debut our Video Context solution with VICE. For the first time in market, we are releasing technology that allows for advertising decisioning against in-stream video context, optimizing the environment for pre-roll and mid-roll video advertising. Now in its third year, our collaboration with VICE has always explored new frontiers of our Contextual Intelligence technology, and we're excited to continue to build on this legacy."

VICE will begin testing the product on certain campaigns before the end of 2018.

3 Comments

Account Circus said:

"VICE has released alarming findings surrounding flawed brand safety techniques that steer marketers away from important and necessary subjects including race, religion and LGBTQIA issues."

Well, if that's the case it's reassuring to know that Vice has been picking up the slack for everybody else for ages, with almost all of their content focusing exclusively on some derivative of the above topics.

Yeeha said:

Maybe the right are pro global warming because they think it will melt all the snowflakes.

Seriously though, we are being run by morons. Kanye West advising Trump?

WTF?

Joe Mac said:

If these were issues people wanted to have thrust in their faces, despite the fact that they are of no concern to them, Vice would be wildly popular. It's not. It's a cynical attempt to flog cheap Leftist rhetoric with kool kidz.

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