How Whitelists and Blacklists Protect Your Brand Integrity

Joanna Cabrini
Joanna Cabrini
Media Manager, Programmatic

Any time you automate your online media buy—as is the case with programmatic advertising—you might run the risk of having your content appear in some unfavorable places. It’s important that your events, team or venue are promoted in spaces where your audience and brand are aligned.

Whitelists and blacklists are two critical elements used to help ensure proper safety measures are in place for any programmatic advertising strategy. They’ll also help optimize your ad placement and ensure they don’t appear against controversial content that might hinder your brand’s integrity.


Blacklists keep your content from appearing on sites that might misalign with your brand’s image. For example, you wouldn’t promote a liberal-leaning rock band within a website known for its far right extremist views. Nor is it ideal for a family ad to appear on a popular site known for adult content.

Similarly, you might want to get the most “bang for your buck” by ensuring ad impressions aren’t used up on sites that yield poor returns in the live entertainment space. Ticketmaster’s Blue Digital team, for example, finds that sites featuring heavy user-generated content don’t often generate ticket sales (e.g., Reddit, Blogspot).


What about the sites where you do want ads to appear?

Whitelists are a really great way to guide ads toward your ideal audience. While blacklists prevent ads from appearing in certain places, whitelists put them in front of the people most likely to buy your tickets. For example, whitelisting a high-traffic, regional performing arts website might be a prime spot for ballet or orchestra event ads.

What does Ticketmaster do?

Blue, Ticketmaster’s exclusive digital marketing agency for clients, works to maintain an agency-wide blacklist which excludes highly controversial content. We also use Google classifications to maintain a whitelist that ensures your ads only appear against content that Google deems family-friendly.

Our approach is to err on the side of brand safety while applying other best practices. This ensures that your marketing dollars are spent efficiently while simultaneously reaching the right audience for your events.

For more information on programmatic advertising with Blue Digital, please reach out to your Ticketmaster Client Marketing Manager.