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TikTok Announces New Brand Safety Controls and Expanded Ad Verification Partnerships

TikTok has announced some new ad safety controls and expanded partnerships with third party ad monitoring providers, as well as more streamlined processes for managing your ads within TikTok Ads Manager.

Which will help to provide more assurance amid negative reports about the app.

First off, TikTok’s adding “Category Exclusion” and “Vertical Sensitivity” controls, providing more ways to dictate where your TikTok ads appear.

Category Exclusion will enable advertisers to control whether their ads are shown next to four content in four categories:

  • Gambling & Lotteries
  • Violent Video Games
  • Combat Sports
  • Youth Content

The capacity to exclude videos in these subject areas will enable brands to avoid any unwanted association with sometimes objectionable content.

As explained by TikTok:

“By controlling association with these categories of content, brands can maintain consistency in messaging. Take, for example, a major technology company promoting its gaming brand to adults. Likely, the company would feel comfortable having these ads appear adjacent to Violent Video Games content. On the other hand, when promoting their suite of productivity tools, they may want protection against this category.

Vertical Sensitivity, meanwhile, will enable advertisers to select their vertical, in order to exclude content that they may consider misaligned with their brand positioning.

“For example, a travel brand that generally prefers content about nature, may not want to appear close to content about volcanos or floods. Or a financial brand could avoid content depicting potentially novice financial advice or strategies from a beginner sharing their opinion.”

TikTok will provide eleven verticals to choose from, including Pets, Beauty, Food, Fashion/Retail, Travel, Financial Services, Technology, Automotive, Gaming, Professional Services and Entertainment.

On another front, TikTok’s also expanding its partnerships with ad verification partners DoubleVerify, Integral Ad Science, and Zefr, providing more ways for ad partners to verify their TikTok campaign performance.

Finally, TikTok has also launched a new “Brand Safety Hub” in TikTok Ads Manager, which will make it easier to access the platform’s various ad safety and assurance tools.

TikTok announced the new features at its “Beyond Brand Safety” summit, which is part of its ongoing effort to reassure ad partners that their content won’t be displayed alongside harmful material in the app.

TikTok has faced several challenges on this front, from accusations of censorship of certain types of users, to hosting child sexual abuse material. Indeed, the app has even been banned in some regions due to inappropriate content.

And, of course, it could be banned in the U.S. as well, not due to content concerns, as such, but due to its links to the CCP, and the potential for the app to be used as a vector for spreading CCP propaganda, and spying on U.S. citizens.

Amid negative coverage of the app, brand safety considerations are important, which is why these are valuable announcements from the TikTok team.  

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