Helene Monat is President, AdSafe Media, an advertising technology company.
AdExchanger.com: What challenge does AdSafe Media solve for marketers?
HM: AdSafe Media was founded with the goal of helping brands implement safe and successful digital advertising strategies. While many brands and agencies have adopted best practices for advertising on the Internet, the complexities of the ad-serving ecosystem can yield significant problems, specifically risks to brands in terms of content adjacencies (i.e. the content that appears next to advertising). AdSafe technology provides brand marketers with the first independent, third-party service to protect their integrity and equity. AdSafe's suite of products enables marketers and agencies to safely and successfully execute digital advertising strategies by preventing brand campaigns from being displayed in potentially harmful online environments.
How can AdSafe help bring brand awareness dollars online and serve the brand marketer? Any examples?
Many marketers are hesitant to fully commit to campaign-level digital strategies because they feel the online world lacks the same brand safety and security of off-line media. Without the proper infrastructure, brand marketers will continue to be tentative with their online spending. At AdSafe, we are developing a platform that provides brands with the tools to safely and effectively manage digital campaigns by mitigating concerns about content appropriateness. We believe that all members of the ad ecosystem should work collaboratively to elevate digital to the primary media channel for brand marketers – a goal that has a significant upside for all the constituents of the online advertising world.
What's your view regarding ad exchanges? A "haunted house" for brands?
We see exchanges as an inevitable evolution of the current ad-serving model and one that provides significant benefits in the current economic climate. One obvious benefit of the exchange model is its efficiency. As marketers continue to look for ways to increase value, we believe that exchanges will allow marketers to make their dollars work harder. That said, we also see the network model as delivering distinct benefits, specifically when it comes to accessing premium or targeted vertical content. Both models have their advantages and potential challenges. We believe both can benefit from the greater transparency and control for advertisers that AdSafe can provide.
What are the data points your ratings system evaluates? Is it predictive or entirely based on history?
The AdSafe ratings system scores pages, sitelettes and sites over time on a daily basis and by using historical tracking data. We also forecast for future site ratings. We initially provide individual scores for 8 categories that align with IAB and IASH standards, including adult content, violence, offensive language, spyware/malware, etc. Our rating system combines our proprietary network analysis platform, URL and site history analysis, multiple semantic filters, image analysis, events analysis and our Human Scorer’s analysis/validation procedures for our algorithms, which are updated every 24 hours. These evaluation tools allow brands marketers to make the most informed decision when considering a website for an ad campaign.
Would you qualify your services as "compliance" - a stock market term that may fit in this new automated world of advertising?
We define our services as "risk management" rather than "compliance", because our platform provides tools for brand marketers to define their own unique rating thresholds and for ad networks and ad exchanges to have a standardized, industry-wide, objective rating system. Ultimately, it is up to the brands, networks and publishers using our service to decide the guidelines they choose to follow. We provide the tools to rationally and effectively make that decision.
Given your rating system, it would seem to be a good fit for impression-level bidding in real-time (RTB). Any thoughts on how RTB could be an opportunity for AdSafe Media?
We agree that AdSafe media is a good fit for impression-level bidding in real-time (RTB). We are currently in discussions with multiple companies who also see the significant advantages of a seamlessly integrated approach.
Please discuss the current momentum for AdSafe Media. Any trends you can share regarding the company's business or its clients?
AdSafe Media has been focused on its proprietary, patent-pending technology for the past 16 months. We started sharing the capabilities of AdSafe with ad networks, brands and digital agencies in early July. The response and interest has been so positive, it even exceeded our expectations - such that we are working to add additional talent to our AdSafe team, in our New York headquarters, in our West Coast office, and in our soon-to-launch London office.
How does AdSafe Media work with web publishers?
AdSafe's tools and opportunities for web publishers are another really important component to ensure that all members of the ecosystem benefit from a standardized and independent third-party rating system. We have different services for small-to-medium publishers and for larger publishers.
Where do you see the sweet spot for AdSafe in terms of a target market? How does the revenue model work?
AdSafe has developed its technology to serve each of the major segments of the online advertising ecosystem – brands/agencies, ad networks, and publishers. But AdSafe’s ultimate value proposition is to enable major brand marketers to shift a greater percentage of spend to digital by providing a safe and transparent environment for its online campaigns. We anticipate a robust market for companies to secure themselves online, and are excited about the future of the space.
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