Video marketing analytics platform Vidooly partnered with Xaxis, GroupM’s outcomes-focused media company, to launch a new artificial intelligence tool which identifies brand safety for Xaxis customers. The new tool analyses all YouTube content to prevent ad placements in (or adjacent to) pornography, violence, illegal acts, communal videos and other suggestive content which could adversely affect a brand’s reputation.

The new tool from Vidooly comes as a third-party solution for preventing ads from appearing in controversial content that may reduce brand value; only last year, YouTube dealt with a massive advertisers’ boycott when ads appeared alongside anti-Semitic content in the US. Although no such development occurred in India, Vidooly is offering an ad solution for content creators nevertheless.

The Vuvid Brand Safety Suite consists of a collection of AI tools to process obscene, explicit or sensitive content, in other words — NSFW (Not Suitable for Work) content. The tool has been developed by studying videos across social platforms with NSFW content. Vidooly’s tool has been trained for AI models on adult & nudity, violence, alcohol & drugs and other content alongside which an ad cannot be placed. The suite also has a custom threshold and required AI model selection ability to suit varying interest of the users. It can be customised to scan an entire campaign to single content to receive a brand safety score for better decisions.

Vidooly first rolled out a beta version of its Brand Safety tool in 2017. While currently available only to Xaxis clients in India for use with YouTube, Vidooly plans to expand its offering to other video platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, OTT services and online video publishing platforms.

The YouTube ad problem & what they did about it

In 2017, YouTube and parent company Google got into a muck when advertisements by big brands appeared next to controversial and offensive content. The discovery let to an advertisers’ boycott against YouTube, who pulled their ads from YouTube altogether. AT&T, Enterprise, GSK, Johnson & Johnson and Verizon stopped their spend with Google and YouTube in the US. Companies in the UK followed suit, and soon enough it was estimated that the boycott lost Google $750 million in revenue. Since then, YouTube has fine-tuned its advertisers’ guidelines to protect brand value and prevent wrongful ad placement.

  • In August 2017, YouTube started notifying channels with statements as to why their video or channel has been demonetised, along with instructions to appeal the decision.
  • As Medianama has earlier reported, in June 2017, soon after the ad controversy blew up, YouTube updated its advertising policy for content creators to prevent content with hate messages or discrimination of any type from featuring ads and monetizing the content. This was an update on the initial set of guidelines YouTube had announced in March 2017. Besides hateful and discriminatory content, YouTube also announced that it will prevent content with inappropriate use of family entertainment characters and incendiary and demeaning content from placing advertisements.