Brand Safety Controls Are Demonetizing Publishers’ Israel-Hamas Coverage

Some publishers lose between 30% to 50% of their advertising revenue to brand safety filters

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Missiles, violence, refugees and death—for news publishers covering the horror unfolding throughout Israel and Gaza, the language of their reporting reflects the brutal realities of war.

But that same language also triggers a series of brand safety measures—keyword blocklists, sentiment analysis, or contextual filters—that companies use to prevent their ads from running alongside polarizing content. Measures that demonetize vital, cost-intensive reporting in the process, according to interviews with publishers, media buyers and ad-tech vendors.

Although media buyers’ brand safety efforts have grown more nuanced and their technology more sophisticated in recent years, publishers’ ability to monetize their coverage of the latest Israel-Hamas war has still suffered, according to ad ops executives at three news outlets.

“A lot of people are taking responsible measures to support news environments in moments like this,” said Mario Diez, the chief executive of the brand safety vendor Peer39.



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