This applies to ads that run on the Microsoft Audience Network, which includes ad inventory on Microsoft-owned and operated sites like MSN, Outlook.com, and Microsoft Edge browser as well as partner properties. Now, advertisers will get to target ads by using data from the Microsoft audience graph, and that encompasses LinkedIn professional data - so, this is a definite improvement. The IAS product gets automatically applied right across the network.
What that means for advertisers on the network is ad material gets analyzed before an auction even takes place. IAS scans and evaluates pages across the Microsoft Audience Network and rates them all for risk on the basis of the following categories:
- Illegal Downloads
- Hate Speech
- Illegal Drugs
- Offensive Language
- Controversial Content
Whenever the content on a page within the network gets deemed either moderate or high risk, the page gets excluded completely from advertising inventory for the Microsoft Audience Network. This modification rolls out in the US, to begin with.
Brand safety is even more of a problem now that programmatic advertising is so prevalent, and IAS works with over 4,000 publishers and advertisers like Google and Taboola already. This measure will undoubtedly provide some peace of mind for advertisers wondering about brand safety and concerned their ads will end up running alongside questionable content on the Microsoft Audience Network somewhere. While Microsoft has always voiced brand safety as being a priority, this move puts actions to those words. That can only be a positive sign for advertisers.