The dangers of being featured alongside dangerous or extremist ads online have been outlined again by a new study from the Trustworthy Accountability Group (Tag), which shows that 80% of US adults would boycott a product in the wake of a brand safety scandal.
Consumers are no longer willing to give companies a second chance on this issue, as 72% of the 1,017 people surveyed believe that brands should be proactive in their efforts not to be associated with lude or violent content online and that they will vote with their wallets to show their disapproval.
It has now been more than two years since the first brand safety scandals on YouTube and Facebook that prompted efforts by the ad industry to clamp down on fake news and toxic videos. However, the issue still remains a major problem.
Three-quarters of respondents said that running creative next to extremist content was the single most damaging thing that a company could do to its brand reputation. Nine in ten also say that it’s “very” or “somewhat” important for brands to do everything they can not to feature on websites where this material is hosted.
“This survey drives home the real and measurable risk to a company’s bottom line from a preventable brand safety crisis,” Tag’s Chief Executive Mike Zaneis said in a statement.
He added: “While reputational harm can be hard to measure, consumers said that they plan to vote with their wallets if brands fail to take the necessary steps to protect their supply chain from risks such as hate speech, malware, and piracy.”