Partner Spotlight: Brand safety insights from Grapeshot’s Ryan McBride

December 04, 2017

Tags: 2017, Industry Perspectives

Stephanie Tran
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Partner Spotlight is a series on our blog where we hear directly from advertisers, agencies, DSPs, publishers, and partners about industry hot topics, challenges, predictions, and more in a quick Q&A format. In this edition we interview Ryan McBride, VP, Platform Partnerships of Grapeshot, a contextual and brand safety targeting provider.

MoPub is excited to share more details soon on how we plan to work more closely with Grapeshot in 2018 to provide support for client brand safety needs.

ryan mcbride grapeshot

MoPub: What does “brand safety” mean to you?

Ryan McBride: Brand safety is about monitoring and managing your brand’s content alignment.  It’s about mitigating risk and safeguarding the public image they have worked so hard to build. That said, safety isn’t only about avoiding sensitive materials, it is also about ensuring your brand messaging is surrounded by relevant and compatible content.

MoPub: What trends are you seeing in advertisers’ brand safety needs?

RM: More and more, we are seeing that brand safety is not a binary concept.  It’s an objective metric, like fraud or viewability—it is nuanced and almost always client-specific.  Historically, ticking the ‘brand safe’ box was good enough, but more frequently, we are seeing our partners asking for product efficacy and requesting custom activations, tailored to their unique brand messaging. Grapeshot understands that our brand partners work hard to maintain a positive brand image; we help them to achieve this.  

MoPub: What differences do you see in brand safety in mobile versus desktop environments?

RM: Grapeshot’s guiding principles remain the same across any device or format.  We want our partners to seamlessly leverage their Grapeshot targeting tactics across all activations. That said, we understand the mobile landscape is very different than traditional desktop, especially when we look at in-app.  There are categories in mobile that brands may be unfamiliar with (such as gaming), but that doesn't mean the environment is not brand safe. And just for good measure, we also incorporate additional data signals from each app into our probabilistic analysis.

MoPub: What would you say makes Grapeshot different in market?

RM: Grapeshot’s proprietary technology and real-time information systems give us market leading accuracy and scale. While many solutions categorize at the URL level, we analyze the page’s full body of text, and run low latency systems, keeping our categorizations fresh and up to date. Our proprietary WordRank technology allows us to understand keyword associations with high confidence, rather than using simple match logic.  Coupled with ease and immediacy of customization, our solution is truly unique.

MoPub: What are you most excited about at your job right now?

RM: Product innovation.  We are building multiple new and innovative applications from our core technology: Grapeshot Signal API.  This roadmap features a strong focus on mobile.  Video categorization, deeper publisher integrations, open developer portal (and more) will each have a major impact on how Grapeshot works with mobile buyers and publishers. 2018 will be an exciting year.

From Grapeshot: Grapeshot is a leading global information services provider specialized in data analytics. Through its Wordrank™ technology, Grapeshot’s Live Context Engine cuts through data overload and delivers instant, contextual insights to brands, publishers and platforms to action a decision, simpler and faster. Grapeshot pre-bid contextual solution suite includes Predictive Targeting, Campaign Analytics, Brand Safety and Keyword Blacklisting. Grapeshot is headquartered in New York with over 140 employees in offices across the world. For more information, visit

©2017 MoPub, Inc.
TWITTER, MOPUB and the Bird logo are trademarks of Twitter, Inc. or its affiliates. All third party logos and trademarks included are the property of their respective owners. The views expressed in this interview do not necessarily reflect the views of Twitter, Inc. or its affiliates.

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