June 2023

Twitter's Small First Step in Quelling Ad Buyers' Brand Safety Concerns | Adweek June 2023

More brand safety solutions are in the works, with RFPs out to Zefr, IAS, DoubleVerify and Unitary

a hand holding a phone with the twitter logo on the screen
Twitter aims to limit the reach and visibility of hate speech.Jaap Arriens/​NurPhoto via Getty Images

By Trishla Ostwal

JUNE 20, 2023

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Twitter is taking advertiser concerns about brand safety more seriously.

Beyond the Twitter thread from head of sales Chris Riedy at Cannes Lions, the platform has initiated a request for proposal process to evaluate brand safety solutions from its tech vendors Integral Ad Science and DoubleVerify, as well as Zefr and Unitary, to offer advertisers increased control and transparency over the context in which their ads are displayed on Twitter, according to the platform.

The RFP process will take place for the next few weeks.



The news comes nearly nine months after Elon Musk’s tumultuous Twitter takeover, which triggered an exodus of advertisers from the platform. But some ad buyers, who had called for more clarity on Twitter’s content moderation policies and adjacency controls, are still asking for more.

It is a good step, but it’s only one step in that direction,” said Avi Ben-Zvi, general manager of North America at mobile ad platform Winclap. A lot of the narrative with Elon taking over was he’s going to allow some bad actors back on the platform. With Linda [Yaccarino] stepping up as CEO, they need to continue to address that and can’t just say, We’re going to work with these third parties and make sure your ad isn’t alongside other bad content.’”

Since Musk became involved, marketers have had limited communication with Twitter and have been primarily focused on the platform’s commitment to maintaining a safe community. However, this recent announcement comes as a tangible step forward, providing some clarity into its brand safety steps.

Despite the platform’s policies and measures, incidents of false or misleading information and hateful content continue to arise. This week alone, ads from major brands like Disney, Microsoft and The Telegraph newspaper appeared alongside neo-Nazi propaganda on the platform.

Marketers remain skeptical

Meanwhile, ad spend on Twitter increased by more than 40% in the last year across CPG, media & entertainment, financial services, tech/​telco and health brands, according to Joe Benarroch, a former senior executive at NBCU now leading business operations at Twitter. He wouldn’t share specifics.

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