The prospect of ads appearing next to posts about suicide content has made some advertisers wary of buying ads on Instagram. Facebook’s brand safety problems, are now Instagram’s problems.
Marks & Spencer, The Post Office, Dune and the British Heart Foundation were named in a report by the BBC yesterday evening (Jan. 23) that found their ads had appeared against graphic content about suicide on the social network. The investigation came after it emerged a teenager who had viewed posts on suicide on Instagram had taken her own life.
But rather than pull ads like they did in 2017 when the brand safety issue spilled over into the mainstream, advertisers are taking a different approach now. None of the advertisers mentioned in the report have pulled spend, according to separate statements from the businesses. The idea that online platforms monetize inappropriate content has become such a recurrence over the last two years, that the panic that previously engulfed these issues has been replaced with pragmatism.
M&S hadn’t made any changes to its media plan in the immediate aftermath of the report. It will, however, pay a closer eye to how Instagram rids itself of inappropriate content.