Why Time’s Taylor Swift Feature Was Marked Brand Unsafe

The publisher’s most popular story of 2023 was demonetized by faulty technology

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What do a feature on Taylor Swift, a profile of Sam Altman and a piece about the James Webb telescope all have in common? Last year, all three Time stories were deemed unsafe for brands to advertise against.

The issues came from brand safety technology errantly flagging broad swaths of Time’s reporting as unsuitable for advertising, said CEO Jessica Sibley to a crowd of marketers at the Possible conference in Miami.

Time is not alone, publishers have increasingly called for an overhaul of the so-called brand safety industry, and measurement company DoubleVerify recently apologized for misreporting brand safety scores on X.



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