“Brand safety” is a persistent issue with Web advertising but it turns out that even the ne plus ultra of brand safety, legacy media, has issues when advertisers do buys that are not content specific. What we might call run-of-network (RON) in the digital world.
Like the Web, brands may not know exactly where their ads are appearing if they buy day-part or other means of segmenting. More interestingly, the story insinuates companies like Geico might use these RON buys to provide plausible deniability.
Of course, this is in the US which has a much larger, more fragmented media market than any country in Europe. The US also has ‘controversial’ programs. Europe does not really seem to do controversy, except maybe in the UK. But it is a good feeling to know that “brand safety” is a kinda a canard.