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The upheaval at Twitter shouldn’t be the main concern for advertisers

The upheaval at Twitter shouldn’t be the main concern for advertisers.

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For brands, the ad tech industry’s secrecy may be expensive. It’s time to accept advertising without surveillance.

Due to worries about “brand safety,” some of the biggest advertising firms in the world have recommended customers halt promoting their brands on the social media network following Elon Musk’s disastrous takeover of Twitter. 



In order to ensure that advertisements do not show next to online content that might harm a brand’s reputation or image, thousands of Twitter workers either left the company or were fired. 


This apparently had an impact on moderating capabilities.


However, Twitter advertising was dangerous even before Musk took control. Advertising on social media generally entails substantial risks for companies. 
If there is a slip-up, the rolling news feeds combined with potentially pervasive hate speech and misinformation might cause reputational harm to each scroll.
No airline wants to have one of its advertisements next to breaking news about an airplane accident. 
No company would allow its product to be seen next to messages celebrating terrorist atrocities, child abuse, or a famous football player’s cat-dropping.

It’s unknown whether Musk’s efforts to win back any advertisers by giving hefty incentives, such as matching their ad expenditure, have been successful.
Advertisers won’t likely return until the new leadership of the firm makes explicit their intentions for building brand confidence and safety, which is just fair given that there is no surefire guarantee that occurrences that damage the brand will be avoided.
However, there is a vast ecosystem of internet advertising businesses out there that is gradually posing a new threat to brand safety. 
This ecosystem exists beyond the walled garden of social media platform advertising. 
We have been startled by how intrusive and damaging the ad tech and data broker industries have developed during our studies.
These are businesses that you have never heard of, the enigmatic “third parties” or “business partners” who are occasionally mentioned in the privacy rules that you clicked “accept” on without reading. 
They are in the business of gathering a ton of personal data online, which they then effectively sell for marketing uses.

We have proof that personal data was gathered from people who frequented mental health websites in Europe, from mothers who had just given birth in UK hospitals by marketing businesses permitted in the wards, and from expectant women through online parenting groups. 
Without the subjects’ awareness, this data is subsequently given to outside advertisers.
Sensitive data like this is probably being sold and resold due to the nature of the data broker industry, and it may enter an advertiser’s data supply chain without that advertiser’s knowledge.
Imagine the harm to a firm’s reputation if it becomes out that a company providing baby items used information that was illegitimately obtained from women who had miscarriages. 
As a result, women who are already dealing with the trauma of miscarriage can frequently see internet advertisements for diapers and formula, for instance.
A brand does not want to be associated with this horrible scenario, thus we are asking advertisers if they can guarantee that no data from their supply chain has been gathered in this manner.
We acknowledge that companies might not be fully aware of what is happening farther down the data supply chain, but we think that if they were, they would want to take action. 
It is a problem that is becoming more significant as authorities are beginning to pay attention and privacy-focused NGOs are expanding their scrutiny. 
It won’t be long until the discussion shifts to how marketers contribute to the funding of this sector.
We at Privacy International spent months contacting advertisers, presenting our arguments, expressing our worries, and recommending doable actions they might do to enhance the environment for online advertising and lessen harm.
Advertisers may get started by discussing these issues with their advertising firms and looking for alternatives to the existing state of advertising. 
The existing ecosystem encourages an intrusive all-or-nothing strategy, but there is room for a system that respects customer privacy and requires the least amount of data possible.
The fact is that advertising based on monitoring is ineffective, and the cost of putting customers’ privacy at risk is probably not worth it. 
Advertisers are unable to determine with certainty how many customers are really exposed to their commercials due to the industry’s lack of openness. 
Another problem is fraud when clicks and views are overstated; one estimate pegs the cost to marketers of such actions at $23 billion.
Companies might examine their data supply chain to reduce risks and safeguard clients, paying close attention to third-party databases and auction systems used by ad tech firms and data brokers.
By monitoring and verifying where advertisements are presented, businesses already audit and monitor internal data procedures, returns on ad spend, and brand protection. 
They also do due diligence on human rights along the whole supply chain. 
It may be possible to stop damaging practices and safeguard customers by using these already-existing audits to demand responsibility and openness around the use of personal data.
Advertisers have already demonstrated in public that they are capable of flexing some muscles to defend their brand. 
They can take this action to safeguard their clients and demonstrate their concern for their privacy.

The author’s opinions are his or her own, and they do not necessarily represent those of TalkUpDiTingsDem.







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