Go a la carte: how independent partnerships reinforce consumer trust and encourage advertiser freedom

Independent partnerships uphold the positive values of advertising and can protect from conflict of interests, while helping to safeguard brand safety and suitability, says Channel Factory’s Rob Blake.

Independence is key to a free market. It enables the necessary check and balances for a healthy advertising industry, whilst preventing conflicts of interest and promoting innovation. It also develops trust. This word holds great importance in the advertising industry.

With many consumers defaulting to scepticism regarding advertising, it is important to build and maintain trust. Independent providers across your contextual advertising, brand safety, and brand suitability are key to slowly rebuilding it. After all, you wouldn’t want Ofcom to be owned by the BBC, so why would you want your brand safety and brand suitability checks to come from one provider?

Check, please!

Brands and advertisers are too often being presented with ‘package deals’.

This might sound beneficial and alluring, but it restricts brands from finding the suppliers that will deliver the greatest results for them. You wouldn’t want to be forced to get your coffee and your lunchtime sandwich from the same place, so why restrict your business this way?

Independence allows advertising partners to work with one another in a constructive and positive manner, which ultimately means the client is always front and centre. Brands and advertisers should be afforded the flexibility to choose independent partners for each facet of their advertising needs, across contextual targeting, brand safety, brand suitability and any other tenets they so wish.

Partnering with multiple independent agencies provides the industry as a whole with the necessary checks and balances to ensure all agencies are firing on all cylinders to create the best products and deliver the best possible results. More significantly, ensuring your brand safety and brand suitability is provided by two independent agencies will prevent any conflicts of interest whilst promoting product progression.

The 'T' word

The advertising industry has undergone unprecedented evolution in the last decade, predominantly as a result of advancements in consumer technology. One downside of this is that harmful content, misinformation and disinformation can spread across advertising platforms. Accompany this with the modern educated consumer, who demands brands be open, honest and supportive of social causes, and trust in advertising has never been lower in the eyes of the viewer.

Independent providers can go that extra mile in elevating the trust in the advertising industry as brands and agencies will have the freedom to choose partnerships that work best for them. The consequence of this is a more trustworthy and honest advertising ecosystem that will be distilled throughout the industry, which ends with the consumer.

A la carte - not a set menu

As an example, YouTube has over 500 hours of content uploaded to the platform every single minute. The content is published across a number of channels, videos and topics spanning user generated content, publisher content and academic content. This is a marketing minefield on the most grandiose scale for brands and advertisers who want to make the most out of their advertising campaigns.

But there’s no need to panic and tie yourself into a partnership with only one provider to deliver contextual advertising, brand safety and brand suitability. Choosing independent partners as if you were going a la carte can reap the best rewards and truly maximise your return on advertising spend (ROAS) on the largest advertising platform in the world.

There are five elements you should be looking for in a brand suitability partner; independence, transparency, human quality assurance, dynamism and scalability. Independent third-party partnerships bring great benefits to both brands and advertisers, but also have the power to push the whole advertising industry in a more positive direction.

Through removing any possible conflicts of interest, providing the correct checks and balances to the industry, and through creating healthy competition and innovation, third-party partnerships help develop a more truthful and conscious advertising ecosystem.

Rob Blake


Channel Factory