Advertisers Expect Their Ads to Appear in Brand-Safe and Viewable Environments

Marketers and their agencies have a clear expectation that their messages are both seen and placed in brand-safe environments, which isn’t always happening across the wider industry, warns Alex Parsons, Nine’s Chief Digital and Marketing Officer. 

Amid the ongoing industry debate around the brand safety offered by platforms such as Youtube and Facebook, Parsons noted that premium content creators, such as Nine, had a major competitive advantage in this area. 

“Brand safety has always been important, but the issue we have had recently is with the plethora of user-generated content coming through these global tech platforms – which frankly is not really looked at by humans. It creates content which is not brand safe,” said Parsons.

The Power of Video_Alex Parsons Interview

“We would never want to have our messages or our advertisers’ messages associated with anything in that regard. Ours is 100 per cent brand safe because we create and review all the content we put in front of consumers.”

Parsons said viewability was another key area of marketer expectation which the industry needed to tackle. 

“We don’t want to charge advertisers for things that aren’t seen. Our ads, particularly in the video products, are all unskippable, all based on a user action pressing play, and all have the sound on,” he said.

“That is the expectation that I as a marketer have, that is the expectation that our clients have, and that’s the expectation that we meet.”

Nine’s digital boss pointed out that the company had earlier this year moved to give marketers reassurance around viewability, becoming one of the first in the Australian market to offer third-party verification on its video products.  

Nine Looks To Lead The Way On Viewability

“With video we use third-party verification systems like Moat and Integral Ad Science,” Parsons said. “This is incredibly important because our advertisers want to know that their ads are appearing in brand-safe and 100 per cent viewable environments.” 

Parsons argued there was an increasingly clear differentiation between those in market investing in premium-quality environment and those platforms relying on user-generated content.

“Ultimately, Nine is and always has been a video company,” he said. “Premium-quality content is incredibly important to our future. Here at Nine each year we spend more than $800 million creating premium Australian content. This is compelling and unique content that Australians are actively choosing to watch.

“It’s also content that advertisers are choosing to put their message around in order to connect with those consumers.” 

He also noted that Nine was a major player in both short-form video, with leading news and lifestyle sites like, and, and the long-form video space, with its live streaming and catch-up platform 9Now. 

“Clearly, Nine News, as Australia’s leading news brand, has an enormous amount of video and much our online product is built on the backbone of our video product – be it news, sports or lifestyle content. 

“But I also think our long-form video product is extraordinarily powerful. For 60 years brands have been wanting to integrate their messages in a highly emotive audio visual environment that comes onto their screens and into their homes. 

“Our long-form video is no different. We have high-impact, quality Australian content that is totally brand-safe and totally viewable. Those things together form a very powerful mix for advertisers.” 
Parsons also noted that across its various digital properties and through the 9Now platform, Nine’s online video content reaches a significant portion of the population.

“There are different ways to look at our audience,” he said. “On one level, across the Nine and Microsoft network we provide the opportunity to connect to more than 14 million Australians each month, and in the long-form video space we have more than 1.8 million people who engage with our content.”

Nine’s Chief Digital Officer said the company had also invested heavily in recent years to build out its data offering, with products such as the Adobe Data Management Platform, to give marketers better consumer targeting. 

9Now Hits 3 million Subscribers

“Nine’s data proposition is important for two reasons: one is from an audience/consumer perspective, and the other is the advertiser viewpoint,” he said. 

“We want to enable consumers to have the most amazing experience possible, and data is important with functions like resume play or recommending content. 

“From the advertiser side, data allows us to put the right advert in front of the right people, at the right time, on the right device. We find that context is incredibly important in helping them to achieve much better results.”

‘The key is for us to maintain our ratings momentum post-Easter,’ says Nine Program Director

Nine’s program director, Hamish Turner, says he is confident the broadcaster can maintain and build on its 2017 ratings success post-Easter on the success of such shows as the reality hit, Married at First Sight.

Speaking after the final episode of Married at First Sight series four, which drew an average national audience of 1.906 million, Turner said he believed Nine would be able to carry the audience into the second quarter.

Hamish Turner Interview_FINAL
”I don’t think you can overestimate what Married at First Sight has done for our schedule, particularly against I’m a Celebrity and My Kitchen Rules,” said Turner.
“Married at First Sight has delivered across all the key demographics: 25-54s, 16-39s and grocery buyers with kids. And it has delivered across all of our platforms.
“In fact on every single metric it has over-delivered.”

Turner cited the success of Married at First Sight across both television and digital as the reason for his confidence in Nine’s schedule after Easter.
“Married has been a really strong demo play,” he said. “But the biggest thing for us has been the cross-platform play that the show has delivered. It has delivered on linear TV, it has delivered on our digital platforms, such as 9Honey, and on catch-up services such as 9Now, with the VPM numbers being around 150,000. So the net is an audience around 1.5 million for each episode.”

The Nine program director said the broadcaster was confident Australian audiences would tune in for the new season ratings blockbuster The Voice and would also be lured by the launch of new relationship show Last Resort, the debut of the two-part bio-pic House of Bond, and the return of drama series Love Child.
“TV is a game of momentum and the main thing is for us to come out really strong after the Easter break,” said Turner. “We will capitalise on the success of Married at First Sight by bringing out Last Resort, a new format in the relationship space.
“We think this program will deliver the same demographic profile as Married at First Sight and be strong with women, strong with 16-39s and 25-54s, and also grocery buyers with kids.

“Then there is the big pillar for us, which will be The Voice. We have Delta Goodrem returning, a much loved coach, Seal is returning – and he has won it twice – and then we have Boy George, a big, effervescent personality who brings a lot of joy to the screen, plus Kellie Rowland, who will bring the sass.
“There is a lot of joy in this new series.”

Turner also noted that drama would play a key part in Nine’s second quarter plans.
“In the drama space we also have House of Bond coming into the schedule. It will be a two-night play in the bio-pic space. This is a great nostalgic program with some really big characters who deliver on the drama.

“We also have Love Child returning for its fourth season. We have really invigorated this show with a new set of cast members and a number of returning favourites.”

Turner said the strong performance of Married at First Sight in recent weeks had given increased his confidence going into the second quarter of 2017.

“I think we will have a really strong second quarter. We talk about momentum and we have just seen series highs for Married at First Sight, House Husbands and Travel Guides,” he said.

“It is really important for a show in its fourth or fifth episode to be reaching those season highs and we think we can drive that momentum into Q2 with a big-platform show in The Voice, a brand new show in Last Resort, a huge bio-pic in House of Bond, and a very popular drama in Love Child.”

And so much more to come in 2017
The Block | Family Food Fight | Australian Ninja Warrior | Love Child | TV Week Logie Awards | True Story with Hamish and Andy | Here Come the Habibs | Chopper | Doctor Doctor | State Of Origin | NRL Final Series | The Ashes | This Time Next Year | Accidental Heroes | 20 to One | Britain’s Got Talent