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Radio industry says advertising on air is safer than online

By | Published on Thursday 6 April 2017

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Following Vevo’s lead, the radio industry is also capitalising on the recent controversies around big brand ads on YouTube appearing alongside offensive content by telling advertisers that they have more control if they run their commercials on radio. I mean, the most offensive thing your ad can sit alongside on the FM dial is that new David Guetta track, which is pretty offensive, but not a video from political extremists or groups promoting hate crimes and terrorism.

A new B2B marketing campaign from commercial radio trade group Radiocentre, appearing in trade press like Retail Week and The Grocer, advises potential advertisers to “choose the company you keep”, before telling brands that radio is a safe environment for their ads.

As previously reported, a flurry of big brands on both sides of the Atlantic have bailed on advertising with YouTube over concerns that automated ad placement systems mean their commercials might sit alongside offensive content. It was a recent investigation in The Times about the ads that appear alongside videos by extremist groups that suddenly made the ad industry squeamish about this phenomenon.

As Google seeks to reassure advertisers that it is evolving its ad serving systems to stop their adverts from funding offensive material, music video platform Vevo recently pointed out that it sells ads that appear on the YouTube platform, but only on the official artist channels that it manages on behalf of the record companies. It therefore provided, Vevo ad sales boss Kevin McGurn said, “a safer way for brands to maximise their reach today, with the confidence of knowing who and what they’re aligned with”.

Radiocentre admits that its latest B2B campaign promoting radio advertising “comes in the wake of the ongoing ad industry debate around the issues of safe environments for brands”. Though the campaign also claims other benefits for advertising with radio over rival platforms, including transparency and trust. On the latter point, the trade group cites research that apparently found that radio is trusted more than any other medium.

Boss of Radiocentre Siobhan Kenny says: “Our ads follow themes of trust, environment, transparency and ad-blocking – four issues that we believe keep marketers awake at night and to which radio offers a strong solution”.



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