LOS ANGELES – By their very nature, financial institutions are held to standards of conduct that most marketers never have to worry about. So when Bank of America’s Lou Paskalis talks about brand advertising showing up alongside digital content that promotes terrorism, he’s unflinching about what needs to change.
“We just can’t be in business with any company that is facilitating that,” says Paskalis. “Its not a 99.9 percent requirement. It’s a 100 percent requirement. That’s the regulatory nature of the banking industry.”
In this interview with Beet.TV at the annual Transformation conference of the 4A’s, the SVP of Enterprise Media Planning, Investment & Measurement at BOA discusses the parameters of reputational risk, his enthusiasm for the new OpenAD venture by three TV networks and why legacy media measurement needs to change.
“Brand safety is vitally important to Bank of America,” says Paskalis. “But you also have another set of concerns, which is some of the content that’s out there is promoted by companies that have some connection or in some way are promoting terrorism.”
YouTube and others have garnered negative headlines since the beginning of 2017 because of ads showing up alongside objectionable content, prompting some brands to pull their ads.
“The magnitude of the challenge that our friends at Google, who are a very important partner to us, is daunting because of the sheer volume of content that’s uploaded,” says Paskalis. “That said, contractually, they need to guarantee 100% brand safety.”
This presents an ultimatum of sorts for the digital giant.
“I think they have a lot of engineering work to do, and they’re also going to need to wrestle with are they a technology company or do they have an editorial disposition in order to create that brand safety,” he says. “And I think that’s going to be a hard series of conversations with them.”
Paskalis praises Fox, Turner and Viacom for their OpenAD consortium, which enables advertisers to target TV audiences uniformly across their programming. “If this is the final idea or it’s an interim idea until the next step, it’s the first major step I’ve seen companies take and I applaud it,” he says.
Asked to cite the biggest transformational change needed in the industry, he singles out media measurement—specifically, how to measure the value of interaction.
“I don’t believe that the measurement community has been able to keep apace of the changes that are required in marketing,” Paskalis says.