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DoubleVerify apologizes for misrepresenting X's brand safety rating



Digital ad measurement company DoubleVerify has issued a sincere apology for mistakenly representing X’s brand safety rating to advertisers. This admission comes after an unfortunate error was found in the display of X’s brand safety rating on a dashboard utilized by advertisers. Mark Zagorski, CEO of DoubleVerify, expressed regret for any confusion caused to X and their customers during the evaluation of campaign performance.


The graphical error persisted for a significant duration, stretching over four and a half months from October 2023 to March 2024, before it was identified by engineers at X. DoubleVerify clarified that while the display error occurred, the underlying data available to brands remained accurate.


X CEO Linda Yaccarino addressed the issue in an email to X partners, emphasizing the misleading nature of the message conveyed to advertisers regarding X’s brand safety rating. This oversight has understandably drawn criticism, with industry expert Jim Anderson remarking on the significant impact of such a high-profile failure on DoubleVerify's business reputation.


Notably, the error only affected X and not rival platforms, raising concerns among X executives. Despite X’s actual brand safety score exceeding global benchmarks at over 99.9 percent during the period under scrutiny, data reviewed by X revealed discrepancies, with some ratings presented to advertisers as low as 70 percent.


Public figures like Elon Musk, acknowledging the correction, emphasized the platform’s commitment to brand safety when measured accurately. Musk’s involvement underscores X’s ongoing efforts to navigate challenges surrounding brand perception and advertising.


In response to the incident, X has taken proactive steps to reinforce its commitment to brand safety. The company recently appointed Kylie McRoberts as Head of Safety and enlisted the expertise of former Publicis executive Yale Cohen to bolster advertiser confidence. Yaccarino has personally engaged in numerous discussions with partners to address concerns and reaffirm the platform’s dedication to ensuring brand safety.


Yaccarino urged advertisers to reassess any decisions made based on erroneous data provided by DoubleVerify during the affected period. Notable brands including Amazon, Disney, and McDonald’s were among those impacted by the inaccuracies. Yaccarino's call for reconsideration underscores the importance of accurate data in guiding advertising strategies, particularly in an increasingly competitive digital landscape.


Moving forward, X remains committed to upholding the highest standards of brand safety and transparency. As advertisers weigh their partnership decisions, the focus on accurate metrics and effective communication will undoubtedly shape the future landscape of digital advertising.


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