A company’s brand and brand name are key to its success. Brands are reflected as a financial component on the balance sheet (as intangible assets), and are vital to sustaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

With this in mind, when brands embark on advertising campaigns they do so to enhance their reputation, sell products and deliver key messages to the marketplace, ensuring a long lasting, positive association with their brand. One thing they don’t want is for a campaign to be remembered for the wrong reasons.

There are many examples, both online and in print, where adverts have been placed next to articles where the content is at best inappropriate, and at worst damaging to the brand. The example here, where the ad has been served into an article with amusing consequences, illustrates the risks brands run when sufficient safeguards aren’t in place.”

Here at Smartology, we have taken a unique approach to this issue. We create ‘exclusion lists’, which offer our clients brand protection by avoiding potentially negative associations.”

Our exclusion lists work in two ways:

i) they enable the brand to specify terms or keywords, for example their own brand name or names of their competitors. This means any article mentioning this specific term will be excluded (which means the ad call is simply returned to the ad server as opposed to serving an ad from one of Smartology’s clients).

ii) as our technology profiles content to extract the true meaning of the article, by the telling the system we want to exclude a concept, it will automatically exclude articles which both mention specific terms (such as murder) and also related terms (murdered, murderous, homicide, killing, assassination etc).


We believe the flexibility and reliability of the system gives us and our clients the edge when it comes to brand safety and given the potential damage, we know a protected brand makes for a successful and healthy campaign.



Gary Neal, COO Smartology




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