U.K. Radio Industry Group Sees Opportunity in YouTube’s Struggles

The British group Radiocentre is launching an ad campaign that draws attention to the fact that radio doesn’t tend to have the kind of brand safety problems that YouTube and its corporate parent, Google, have been running into.

When a competing industry is facing challenges, it might be time to highlight your comparative strengths.

That appears to be the idea behind a new campaign by Radiocentre, a U.K.-based group speaking out about brand safety with a new campaign. The issue became a flashpoint for advertisers after The Guardian removed its ads from YouTube after they appeared next to violent and extremist materials on the video site.

Radio has traditionally been at a disadvantage to online advertising because of its inability to do the kind of sophisticated segmentation that web platforms are known for. But one place it definitely has an advantage over online ads, however, is brand safety—because, generally, radio programming has different standards.

This strategy is getting support in other parts of the ad world—including from some online outlets. Vevo, whose music video library includes many of the music videos that air on YouTube, has been making the case that its ad platform is a safer alternative for advertisers concerned about the dangers of user-generated content.

In comments on the campaign, Radiocentre CEO Siobhan Kenny emphasized that the goal is to highlight how radio doesn’t come with the guesswork and complexity that define online advertising.

“The ads follow themes of trust, environment, transparency, and ad-blocking—four issues that we believe keep marketers awake at night and to which radio offers a strong solution,” she explained.

The ads will appear in major British trade publications, such as Retail Week and The Grocer.

An example of one of Radiocentre's ads. (Handout photo)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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