Xaxis UK Brand Safety

“Xaxis UK” represents the brands Xaxis, and Plista, unless otherwise stated.

Xaxis UK Policy Overview

This policy document describes the governance process which Xaxis UK employs to ensure Brand Safety for our clients and outlines the way in which all reasonable endeavours are made to minimise the risk of ad misplacement across delivery channels. We employ a mixture of bespoke appropriate and inappropriate schedules (Whitelists and Blacklists) relevant to the particular buying model, which is powered by internal human and independent content verification providers such as Integral Ad Science (IAS).

Basic Principles

Xaxis UK will work to minimise the risk of ad misplacement on all campaigns regardless of whether the advertiser or agency specifies this at the point of booking. We will only work with preferred and vetted sellers, domains or apps which are thoroughly tested against common Brand Safety criteria to minimise the risk of ads appearing against:

  • Nudity, Pornography, or Any Explicit Sexual Conduct
  • Sexual Assault/Child Abuse Content
  • Graphic Violence/Death
  • Promotion of Drugs or Illegal Criminal Activity
  • Copyright Infringement

In addition to our basic safety checks a client may have specific requirements. For example, it is unlikely to be in the interest of a travel client for their ads to appear on pages about plane crashes or ferry disasters. Similarly, the advertiser brand itself may be receiving negative news coverage. When such cases are brought to our attention, Xaxis UK will exclude the offending content with the use of Blacklists, Whitelists, or, where needed, at page level through contextual technologies such as Grapeshot.

Xaxis UK is committed to following the Digital Trading Standards Group’s Good Practice Principles as laid out by the UK Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards (JICWEBS). Further to this GroupM also works with the City of London Police on Operation Creative to ensure that we always blacklist websites listed as copyright infringing.



While the principles outlined above are universal and apply across all digital channels, Xaxis UK has several buying models and enforces Brand Safety through different means on each. A single campaign may use more than one of these buying models:

  1. Exchange Buying

These campaigns are managed by the Xaxis UK Campaign Management team, and inventory is sourced from the open exchange. For domains and in-web mobile, campaigns utilise a Whitelist that adheres to the Best Practice outlined above, and at network level we implement the GroupM Blacklist that is updated weekly and is fuelled by Whiteops and the City of London Police and Operations Creative. For app inventory, IAS Pre-Bid segments are used to ensure delivery in-app is brand safe, in line with the above principles.

Note: Xaxis UK’s YouTube products do not explicitly exclude the GroupM Blacklist, but since this is a single-domain buy, the effect is the same. Instead we apply an OpenSlate targeting list to ensure that our campaigns only run against approved channels.

  1. Direct Buys

These are campaigns managed by the Xaxis UK Campaign Management team and the inventory is sourced by the GroupM Media team. Custom networks are curated for certain products and network transparency is always a given as we will ask the media owner to place the tags for these products directly onto their pages. Adherence to the Xaxis UK Best Practice is ensured by the publisher signing the GroupM Terms and Conditions which state that the GroupM Blacklist must be used and that certain offending content categories must not be used. All Publishers will also operate a “notice and takedown” policy that complies with the Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations (2002) with ad delivery conforming to Mandatory DTSG Good Practice Principles. Inventory is centrally monitored through IAS tracking and because Xaxis UK knows the domains used by the Publisher we reserve the right to request that the publisher exclude unsuitable URLs.

  1. Network Buys

To supplement our programmatic offering Xaxis UK will also work with GroupM preferred suppliers and make IO bookings with other programmatic companies. Again, adherence to Xaxis UK Best Practice is safeguarded by contractually obligating such companies to comply with the GroupM blacklist and the Xaxis UK Brand Safety policy.

  1. Managed Service

Finally, Xaxis UK may utilise Third Parties to deliver certain products on our behalf. Here we will ensure that the Xaxis UK Best Practice is adhered to through contractual agreements with the vendor. Xaxis UK will ensure that certain offending content categories are not used, in addition to reserving the right to change the inventory mix using Blacklists and Whitelists chosen by us.


Content Verification Tools

Xaxis UK uses IAS tagging across display campaigns managed by the Xaxis UK Campaign Management team and regularly samples inventory against other solutions such as Double Verify. These technologies, alongside internal human auditing, fuel our weekly network curation routines to minimise the risk of campaigns managed in-house appearing on unsuitable content. In addition, we can use such technologies to block ads in real time through pre-bid segments where required. We can support the implementation of any verification technology (including post-bid blocking solutions) available in the UK, but clients will typically not require additional tracking due to the extensive preventative measures that Xaxis UK takes.


Process and Maintenance

1. Exchange Buying

Xaxis UK internally vet domains to ensure that ads do not appear against content that is not brand safe. At a high level, our domain vetting process for appropriate schedules includes the following steps:

a) Individual domains are manually vetted by our Campaign Management team before being trialled on the Xaxis UK whitelist. Only domains with appropriate content, as defined above, are allowed on to the list.

b)  App inventory is pre-vetted through IAS’s pre-bid segments, which classify apps according to our above principles. Any apps that register a ‘Moderate’ or ‘High’ risk against any of the above brand safety categories are blocked prior to any bid. Apps that are non-classifiable are blocked as standard.

c) Once new Domains are added to the Xaxis UK Whitelist these are monitored against Brand Safety metrics on Seller and Domain dimensions as part of our weekly Inventory Management routines. IAS monitoring is enabled across the vast majority of display campaigns which allows aggregation of this data cross-advertiser, thus allowing Xaxis UK to holistically analyse Fraudulent Activity, Brand Safety Scores and Viewability along with other campaign performance metrics that Xaxis UK require to meet certain KPI thresholds. Domains that do not meet these standards will be removed from our appropriate schedules.

d) Our inappropriate schedule is provided and updated by GroupM and is compiled globally using Veri-Site and the City of London Police initiative. This is implemented at network level and automatically applies to campaigns managed within the DSP.

2. Direct Buys, Network Buys and Managed Service

a) For Direct Buys domains are vetted by the GroupM Media team for approval and external parties will curate the supplied inventory mix on the basis of our Brand Safety guidelines.

b) Publishers are legally obliged to implement our GroupM Blacklist as specified within the GroupM Publisher Terms and Conditions before we begin trading with that partner. The domain list is supplied in the form of a web link to ensure that publisher contacts can access the most recent inappropriate lists.

c) Full domain transparency must be given and IAS tracking must be allowed by the publisher and Xaxis UK reserves the right to change the inventory mix if Brand Safety standards are not met.


Takedown Policy

In the event that an advertiser deems their ad is displayed against inappropriate content, we operate a takedown policy to remove delivery across such content within 3 hours of communication. Furthermore, campaign delivery on content that is in breach of the contractual obligations laid out within this document will be compensated by Xaxis UK. Where external parties are in breach, they are liable to pay compensation to Xaxis UK.

a) For Exchange Buying, our team of specialists will manually audit sites utilizing Brand Safety tools and data across our technology partners. If domains or content are found to be unsuitable they will be excluded and / or Grapeshot segments will be overlaid to moderate content.

b) For Direct Buys, our Media team will intervene directly with publishers to remove any activity and sanction any breach of contractual obligations

c) For Network Buys and Third-Party campaigns, our Commercial team will handle the communication with the relevant party about the removal of the offending content.

Where the publisher is under contract with AppNexus, infringement is flagged with them so that AppNexus can contact offending Sellers to tackle the problem at its root.


Anti-Fraud policy

Xaxis UK also takes the following steps to minimise the risk of ad-fraud:

a) For Exchange buying, our team of specialists use content verification tools to monitor suspicious activity by domain and inventory seller. All domains or inventory sellers with suspicious activity above a threshold is removed from our targeting lists. By working with pre-vetted inventory and trusted inventory sellers only, Xaxis UK lowers the risk for ad fraud.

b) For Direct Buys, our Media team monitor fraud levels and contact publishers to exclude placements that score high for suspicious activity.



Xaxis supports the IAB initiative ads.txt (also known as Authorized Digital Sellers). Where an ads.txt file is present, Xaxis requires that only publisher inventory from authorized sellers is purchased. In the absence of an ads.txt file Xaxis will not exclude the publisher from targeting but will continue to recommend that all publishers adopt ads.txt at the earliest opportunity