Brand safety targeting

You can use brand safety targeting to make sure you only purchase inventory that meets or exceeds your brand safety requirements.

Target inventory based on digital content label

To set brand safety targeting for a line item, navigate to the Brand Safety targeting page, then select one or more digital content labels to target. Digital content labels range from "DL-G", which corresponds to content that's suitable for general audiences and is considered the most brand safe level, to "DL-MA", which corresponds to content suitable only for mature audiences.

 Mobile app and connected TV inventory are supported.

Learn more about digital content labels in Display & Video 360.

Filter inventory based on sensitive category

The sensitive content categories below are available for display, video, and audio line items. Learn more about the content category settings for YouTube & partners line items. 

In addition to filtering inventory using brand safety levels, you can also block inventory based on the subject matter of its surrounding content. Sensitive category blocking in Display & Video 360 uses proprietary Google technology to classify content and block based on a variety of signals. View sensitive categories available in Display & Video 360.

Mobile app and connected TV inventory are supported. Some apps (like news or classifieds apps) support content URLs and are categorized on the content (or page) level, but most are categorized by the app’s main function, not its content.

Set brand safety targeting for an advertiser

Digital content labels and sensitive categories can also be excluded for an advertiser.  Use these exclusions to help set a base level of brand suitable targeting that will apply to all current and future campaigns, insertion orders, and line items.

Here's how:

  1. Navigate to Advertiser and then  Settings and then Targeting.
  2. Click Edit Edit  to expand targeting criteria and make changes.
  3. Click Save. 
Targeting set for an advertiser cannot be edited in campaigns, insertion orders, or line items. You must return to the advertiser to edit these targeting settings. This targeting will not affect default line items for programmatic guaranteed deals.

Your advertiser can also block a channel of apps or URLs to prevent ads from serving near unsuitable content. Learn more

Use third-party brand safety technology

You can use third-party verification technology to enforce brand safety thresholds for impressions you purchase.

  1. Open an advertiser in Display & Video 360, and click the insertion order you want to edit.

  2. Once you've opened an insertion order, you can set media quality requirements as part of the insertion order's default targeting or you can set media quality requirements in the targeting of individual line items. Either way, you can find third-party pre-bid verification settings in Targeting and then Brand Safety.

  3. Once you've opened the Media Quality settings, select a verification service provider:
    • Integral Ad Science

      About Integral Ad Science's brand safety settings
      • Context Control: Content Avoidance: Enter the ID that you received from Integral Ad Science to exclude a specific custom segment. You can also block unrated URLs from being targeted.
      • Context Control: Targeting: Enter the ID that you received from Integral Ad Science to include a specific custom segment for targeting.
      • Sensitive content types: Unrateable, Adult, Alcohol, Illegal Downloads, Drugs, Hate Speech (desktop and mobile web only), Offensive Language, Violence, and Gambling (mobile-app only).
      • Unrateable: Impressions that are unrateable can't be describes as being brand safe or not. Typically, unrateable impressions are associated with anonymous inventory (impressions where the page URL isn't "transparent" or shared with buyers), ad server or ad network URLs, and IP addresses.
      • Ad Fraud Prevention: Exclude impressions if there's a risk (moderate or high) that a website or the advertisements appearing on it are associated with illegal or deceptive activity, such as click fraud or impression fraud.
      • Viewability:  How viewable an impression is, relative to other impressions. You can choose the average viewability rate you want.

      For more information contact:

    • DoubleVerify

      About DoubleVerify's brand safety settings
      • Authentic Brand Safety: Create a custom brand safety profile using Authentic Brand Safety controls in the DoubleVerify platform. To use the profile, enter its segment ID.
      • Brand safety categories: Block inventory based on DoubleVerify's brand safety avoidance tiers (high-risk or medium-risk), or one or more of the 20+ avoidance categories.
      • Avoid bidding on apps by rating: Block inventory based on an app's age rating, or only bid on apps with a certain star rating or higher.
      • Viewability: Target inventory based on how viewable the impression is, relative to all impressions, using the IAB definition of viewability ("Target web and app inventory to maximize IAB viewable rate"). You can also target inventory based on the 100% viewable duration of the average view of an ad ("Target web and app inventory to maximize 100% viewable duration").
      • Fraud & Invalid Traffic: Target inventory based on the historical percentage of fraud and invalid traffic.

      For more information contact:

    • Adloox

      About Adloox's brand safety settings
      • Adult : Pornography, nudity
      • Adult Soft : Sexual content, partial nudity
      • Fraud : Botnets, malwares, fake sites, ad stacking
      • Tendentious : Extreme religion, controversial content
      • Discriminatory :  Content discriminatory towards race, religion, gender, age
      • Violent / Weapons : Content with scenes of pain, violence, death, or offering the sale of guns, bombs, and weapons
      • Alcohol/Drugs : Content selling or promoting the use of alcohol, or illegal drugs

      For more information contact:

  4. Click Done once you're done configuring all of the above information.
Prices are set and provided to Google by the verification service providers. These prices may be updated in Display & Video 360 at any time without prior notice.


Use the "Video Rating Tier" section of the Troubleshooter for your line items to verify the number of impressions that came in for each video rating tier versus the video rating tier being used in the line item’s targeting. You can use this information to adjust your targeting as needed. Learn more


  • Audio inventory isn't supported by third-party brand safety targeting. First-party brand safety content labels for audio are derived from app- and site-level information, rather than content-level information. 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How does third-party viewability targeting work?

Both IAS and DoubleVerify use JavaScript in their tags to measure the number of times ads are on screen and viewable. This data is then aggregated to produce a rating for all sites IAS or DoubleVerify has code deployed on, which is then used to give a score to each individual ad slot, relative to all ad slots IAS and DoubleVerify has data for, representing how likely an ad is to be viewable.

Once these scores have been calculated, they can be used as a mechanism to target inventory based on the relative score of a given ad slot compared to all other ad slots. (Higher percentages correspond to ad slots that are more likely to be viewed.)

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