Avoid AI Risks in Programmatic Advertising

Discover risks of programmatic advertising with generative AI and how PBS offers a brand-safe alternative for national advertisers with a stronger ROI.

As the production of AI-generated articles and videos online continue to increase, advertisers may end up inadvertently placing their ads next to low-quality or inaccurate content. In this blog, we will explore the risks associated with programmatic advertising due to the rise of generative AI – and how PBS solves this for national advertisers by offering a brand-safe alternative with a stronger ROI (return on investment). 

Risks of Programmatic Advertising and Generative AI

A recent report by NewsGuard showed that major global brands’ programmatic ad buys are appearing on AI-generated websites that churn out thousands of articles a day with little to no editorial oversight. These websites contained misinformation, plagiarized content from other news sites, and error messages from AI chatbots. The report found that over 140 major brands’ programmatic ads were served on over 50 AI-generated websites, and the number of unreliable AI-generated websites is growing rapidly.1 Advertisers often are not even aware that their ads are running on these websites, as they typically use third-party platforms like Google for advertising placements.

Unfortunately for brands, studies show that consumers hold advertisers most responsible for the content ads appear adjacent to online.2 Not only that, but being associated with unsafe, misleading, or inappropriate content has a significant negative impact on brand perception, consumer trust, and purchase intent.3 As a result, companies may be putting their ad dollars towards ad placements that are actually having a negative effect on their brand. Furthermore, the cost in time and management incurred by agencies and marketing teams to audit and mitigate inappropriate ad placements generates an additional cost to AI-driven programmatic campaigns that are often unidentified in ROAS (return on ad spend) analysis, but has a very real impact on marketing budgets. To avoid this, advertisers must take a hard look at their ad campaign strategies and make sure they are putting their money in ad placements that will elevate their brand awareness and not harm their brand’s reputation. 

PBS: The Brand-Safe Alternative for Advertisers

PBS is known for producing award-winning, best-in-class content that reaches large audiences across all media platforms. In contrast to the web pages that monetize AI-generated content, PBS creates well-researched, high-quality content across pbs.org and its series sites with videos and articles ranging in topics from drama and history to science and technology. In fact, 86.5% of PBS primetime viewers say PBS provides content that they trust.4 PBS’s quality-first approach to its content has earned the platform credibility and trust with its viewers, and as a result, advertisers benefit from this positive association. 70% of PBS viewers say they feel more positive about the companies that sponsor PBS.4

Besides guaranteeing that ads will run alongside quality, credible content (online, streaming, or traditional linear), investing in a PBS corporate sponsorship makes good business sense, removes the cost of auditing and managing poor ad placements, and ensures that your ad spend is paying off. Unlike programmatic advertising, PBS’s ad placements offer advertisers control over which PBS series they choose to sponsor and where their sponsor messages appear. Additionally, PBS corporate sponsors stand out in ad pods that are limited to three to five advertisers (depending on the series), and provide brands category exclusivity on each series they sponsor. PBS’s unique environment pays off for corporate sponsors as viewer purchase preference is 50% greater for PBS sponsors than it is for commercial streaming VOD advertisers.4

While AI provides organizations great benefits, it also poses a risk to brands using programmatic advertising. Incorporating a brand-safe advertising platform into their media buys can help brands offset this risk. A PBS corporate sponsorship provides a safe option for advertisers to reach engaged consumers while associating their brand with credible and quality content, elevating their brand’s reputation and ensuring value from their ad spend. Contact us to learn more the benefits of a PBS national corporate sponsorship package.


1 News Guard Tech: https://www.newsguardtech.com/misinformation-monitor/june-2023/
2 Integral Ad Science Report: https://go.integralads.com/rs/469-VBI-606/images/AMER_DiversityandInclusion_Research_IAS.pdf
3 Cheq, IPG, and BMW study: https://martech.org/study-confirms-brands-worst-fears-about-unsafe-content/
4 Kantar | SGPTV,  US Video Audience Insights 2023


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