The “big two” in brand safety both went public this year. Over the next two weeks, AdExchanger will publish podcast interviews with both companies’ CEOs: Lisa Utzschneider of Integral Ad Science and Mark Zagorski of DoubleVerify.
Utzschneider is up first.
We kick off with a discussion of IAS’s acquisition of Publica, an ad server and analytics company in the connected TV space, for $220 million. Does IAS plan to get more involved in programmatic execution, given that Publica operates an ad server? And if so, does that conflict with its status as a neutral measurement provider?
Utzschneider acknowledges Publica’s assets outside the measurement area, and she says those products will continue to be supported. But she describes them as ancillary to the core vision.
“There are parts of Publica’s business lines and assets that will remain separate,” she says. “We won’t do anything to change course in our critical role as an independent third-party verification company.”
She also describes IAS’s efforts to extend its brand safety measurement offering to social platforms and CTV environments. The company has partnered with TikTok to let IAS customers do brand safety verification on the platform’s video formats.
TikTok verification is in a testing phase, going live in just a few markets with plans to roll out more widely in Q4. A similar initiative is underway with Twitter. The technology involved scans video, image, audio and text within these walled gardens, and she describes it as the most important current company initiative.
“It’s probably one of the top three requests I get from brand advertisers,” she says. “Please, IAS, roll out a brand safety and suitability solution within the live feeds of social platforms.”
Clients are pushing IAS to bring its tech to new areas, but they’re also growing how they use existing tech, she says. “Our customers have become much more sophisticated in terms of what their needs are.”