Mantis Partner with Brand Advance to Combat Blunt Ad-Blocklist Keyword Prejudice Affecting LGBTQ+ and BAME Publications

–       The Brand Advance Media Network will use Mantis powered by IBM Watson to determine safe advertising opportunities for brands targeting minority groups

–       Sophisticated brand safety tool is welcome news to minority community publishers disproportionately affected by ad blocking and brands looking to embrace diversity and inclusion

Reach’s Mantis and Brand Advance, the leading cultural marketing agency specialising in LGBTQ+, Black, Asian and minority ethnic audiences, have arrived at an agreement to use intelligent brand safety tool across its network. The marketing agency will provide the solution to its publishing clients who will be able to offer a greater degree of safe advertising spots to brands in community outlets as well as to inform important messaging to the BAME and minority groups for digital and Out of Home campaigns. 

Mantis Ensures ‘Lesbian’ Isn’t Treated as a Dirty Word by Prejudicially Blunt Blocklists

While brands owners have a rightful concern about where their product or service sits next to in the digital space such as adult material or negative Covid-19 news stories about death, less sophisticated brand safety filters use blunt ad-blocking prejudice by labelling most content as unsafe because it cannot make sense of it.

News content with the word ‘Lesbian’ is often rejected as unsuitable for brand advertisers because it appears on a brand ‘blocklist’. Mantis, powered by IBM Watson’s Natural Language Understanding differs by being able to determine context. For instance, it can identify positive news stories about LGBTQ role models or positive content about people coming out like Supergirl and Grey’s Anatomy star Chyler Leigh, which have no bearing on brand safety. This allows brands to appear next to stories about diversity and inclusivity.

Mantis and Covid-19 Tracing in the BAME Community

Brand Advance will also use Mantis to inform and reach BAME communities for important campaigns such as Covid-19 track and tracing both online and Out of Home. Historically, information campaigns have struggled to reach minority groups in mainstream media.

Brand Advance believes Mantis provides an accurate sense of community sentiment derived from the AI’s findings, as it is analysing content created by minority groups, for the community. This allows for more targeted advertising campaigns on issues which affect them on a national and local level.

So How Does Mantis Work?

Mantis looks at categories, concepts, entities (people, place names), keywords, sentiment and emotion to determine the true safety rating of the page – rather than relying on keywords alone.

Current brand safety filters block around 29% of content. Mantis safely reduces this average to 11%.

Emily Britton, Head of Publisher Development at Mantis said, “The LGBTQ+ and BAME publishing communities have been overly affected by prejudicially blunt blocklists which cannot determine context and sentiment around the use of words such as ‘Lesbian’ ‘Queer’ ‘Muslim’ and ‘Black’. Mantis working with Brand Advance remedies this conundrum for publishers and brands by ensuring that these publishing communities and brands are better compensated and supported by the AdTech industry.”  

Christopher Kenna, CEO at Brand Advance said, “We are extremely excited to have partnered with Mantis, which will allow us to ensure that we are able to give our clients access to as much diversity media inventory as possible – whilst still maintaining their brand safety around Keywords.”

He added, “The power of contextual media is everything Brand Advance stands for – this is further enhanced by the ability now to tag the context of each article and the sentiment around that article – ensuring that we only restrict negative sentiment around keyword or phases, at clients request – this will also ensure that maximum revenue is earned by every publisher on our network. In today’s world, this partnership could not be more relevant and we look forward to building this out as a multi-layer data intelligence offering.”

Mantis is welcome news for community publishers who have been struggling to monetise content and find a way to offer brand safety to businesses in these uncertain times.

About Mantis

Mantis is a brand safety and contextual product created by Reach. Mantis uses IBM Watson (AI) to read a page and identify the topics it contains, and the tone it is written in. Because Mantis reads and understands the content, it is able to holistically identify content that is unsuitable for advertising, rather than relying on keywords which tend to lead to over-blocking. In practice, Mantis can distinguish between a ‘knife attack’ and an ‘attack on goal’ or ‘nude photos’ and ‘nude lipstick.’

About Brand Advance

Brand Advance is an advertisement agency that specialises in reaching a diverse audience on digital platforms with their cultural marketing specialists. From social, to content and print, they understand that the key to meaningful brand growth is diversity

About Reach Plc

Reach plc is the UK’s largest commercial news publisher, with over 50 national and regional news brands including the Mirror, Express, Star, OK!, New!, Daily Record, Manchester Evening News, Liverpool Echo, MyLondon, BelfastLive and WalesOnline.  Each month Reach sells over 44.5 million newspapers around the country, and reaches a print and digital audience of over 40 million and has a growing network of over 50 websites