Keyword blocking around COVID-19 news items is slowly starting to recede

New Ideas in MarketingEssential news for marketers, summarised by YouGov
May 29, 2020, 11:49 AM UTC

Majority of campaigns have leveraged pandemic-related keyword blocking to avoid negative association with the pandemic. 

 A minority of advertisers and media buyers are slowly softening their stand on blocking and accepting a moderate contextual position. They are allowing their ads to appear next to pandemic-related like – cooking, working and workouts – that exudes a positive image. 

Faced with mounting criticism content verification companies, which provide the blacklisting software, have also started advising against wholesale blacklisting. This piece reports that some media agencies have begun recommending “programmatic buys against news items as an opportunity.”

While the recovery is still in its initial stage, the programmatic yield is still down 25% from average, it has brought the lack of communication between the buy- and sell-sides to the fore. Industry analysts expect marketers to start having a more nuanced view of brand safety. 

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