The Ins and Outs of Brand Safety: How 1st and 3rd Party Solutions Work Together to ensure a Brand Safe Platform

There are a million and one things that keep marketers up at night; creative and strategic decisions, financing and resourcing, logistical and scheduling conflicts and so much more that affects a brand’s architecture; it’s no wonder that they’re often referred to as brand guardians.

Really if marketers could boil it down, on their seemingly endless list of concerns, they would be asking whether or not their brand is in safe hands. With the fragmentation of audiences and content split across so many popular platforms, they want to know that their brand is on a reliable feed that is consistently delivering on performance objectives.

What else could be more important for a guardian than the safety of what they continuously build –  and relevancy to ensure they will always have a space in people’s minds?

And when we think about the measures that can impact that safety there are a plethora of 1st party and 3rd party factors that come into play.

When it comes to verifying the delivery of the impressions those platforms deliver and making sure our brand operates in the safest online communities there are typically 3 metrics that makeup what we like to call the “Verification Suite”.


So, how can marketers rest easy knowing that a platform is delivering on their brand objectives at each of these touchpoints? Especially when content online continues to steadily democratize and trends start to lean more and more towards unfiltered authenticity, rather than precise polish and production value? Not to mention the speed with which things can move online and escalate to millions around the world in a matter of minutes?

Well, put simply, there are certain platforms that are delivering more consistently on the verification suite; putting brand performance at the top of their product offering. Take the example of TikTok which proving to be the top-performing platform in Viewability, Preventing Ad Fraud and ensuring Brand Safety.


Exactly how has one of the newer, mega players, in the region achieved such impressive standards for brand safety and performance in such a short time? Well, let’s take a closer look at their partnerships, products and platform using each of the touchpoints in the Verification Suite.


In 2021 TikTok announced an official partnership with MOAT in the region which helps answer a critical question on the minds of many brands: “Do my ads have a chance to be seen by real people?” TikTok provides these partners with campaign information, which they then analyze to ensure it meets industry standards for viewability. MOAT offers both the ability to understand how long your impression was on the screen, this being the core function of “viewability”, and crucially whether your impression was delivered to a real person through the measure of “Invalid Traffic”. Both of these metrics are available infeed, and most recently across the platform’s TopView format.



Ad Fraud

TikTok also has a partnership with DoubleVerify in the works. Ad Fraud is measured by MOAT and DoubleVerify through IVT (Invalid Traffic). Deterring Ad Fraud plays hand in hand with ensuring robust viewability. And that’s exactly why 3rd party solutions and partnerships with global leaders like MOAT and DoubleVerify offer not only dedicated pruning of the platforms content and ad space but also a layer of trust and transparency that doesn’t only leave the onus on 1st party and internal solutions.


Brand Safety

One of the major 1st party deterrents to Ad Fraud are holistic Community Guidelines – you know that thing that no one ever reads but is actually crucial to determining the efficacy of a platform?

The Community Guidelines, are what govern all content that is published on the TikTok For You Page, and protect the user base. Ultimately this is what advertisers’ impressions appear adjacent to. The Community Guidelines are built upon and governed by the main players mentioned below.


As you can see TikTok has partnered not just with MOAT but 3 leading 3rd party agencies that set the global standards for ads and content.

In 2021 TikTok also announced 3 new solutions aimed specifically towards ensuring brand safety.

  • A first-party solution called The Inventory filter appearing pre and post bid which provides advertisers with an additional level of filtering above and beyond the Community guidelines. Available across KSA/UAE/EG/TR.
  • A new third party “post-bid” integration with Zefr, that works in combination with the Inventory Filters, and is now available in UAE & KSA.
  • And finally the third, and full-service solution, they announced was the latest integration with OpenSlate which is a pre and post-bid solution. This is a fully automated, end to end 3rd party solution, available in-feed, and launched in KSA in Arabic & English.

During the announcement of this innovative set of regional solutions Jonathan Phillip Hallmark, who leads Brand Safety and Client Solutions, at TikTok For Business METAP, was quoted saying:

“Brand Safety is critical. Brand safety is top of mind for us, and we have been expanding our advertiser offerings in the region to ensure that TikTok is a safe place, not just for our community, but also an industry-leading space where brands can be secure about what their ads are appearing adjacent to.”

And we are inclined to agree – Brand Safety is crucial to a brand’s continued development and immersion in online communities and will become the top determining factor for marketers in 2022 as they shift their planning and focus towards more reliable and measurable solutions.