Wednesday, November 29, 2023

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    The case for and against brand safety

    Media layoffs are back, dragging the never-ending drama of brand safety with them.

    This déjà vu has hit hard for many media execs, particularly those connected to Jezebel. The site’s interim editor in chief, Lauren Tousignant, revealed to 404 Media that “brand safety” — essentially, advertisers distancing from Jezebel’s content — was cited by management as a major factor leading to G/O’s decision to halt publication and lay off the staff.

    It’s an age-old tale in media. Publishers endure financial strain due to cautious advertisers leading to cutbacks. Typically, the reasons for this frugal ad spending aren’t crystal clear. They get blamed on a “challenging market,” which arguably could mean anything given the uphill battle publishers continually face. Tousignant’s account, however, provides a rare, sharp insight into the harsh reality of running an ads business on the back of news.  

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