Finding ad space in ‘brand-safe’ environments has been named as a priority for marketers and agencies looking to step up their investments in programmatic.

Bidding for ad space in real time with the hope of reaching specific audiences at desired points in their purchase journey has created yet another multi-million pound area of marketing. Sales of programmatic ad companies like BrightRoll – bought by Yahoo for $640 million last year – have highlighted how popular automated ad-buying platforms are with the groups they serve.

A new survey from display ad firm Undertone shows that 82% of marketers executed digital ads programmatically in 2014, with 81% of agencies and 80% of publishers claiming to have done the same. Concerns over certain aspects of the ‘machine model’ are still lingering, though, as proved in other areas of the study. 

Undertone found that buying ads on brand-safe environments, or publishers that aren’t likely to cast the advertiser in a bad light with their accompanying content, is a necessity among marketers and agencies alike. 

This was particularly the case for agencies looking to cater for their advertiser clients, as 43% cited an intention to find quality locations to place their ads. Marketers voted in a similar fashion, with 40% declaring a need for brand-safe environments. 

And with this placing above demand for finding viewable inventory, a lack of non-human traffic and ‘uncluttered environments’, it seems the jury is still out as to whether programmatic is handing media groups the security they crave.

An infographic lists some of the other findings from Undertone, collected between October – November 2014 and based on responses from 754 professionals across the agency, marketing and publisher landscapes.