Companies Kvetch At Google For Pairing Ads With Extremist Content

Google will give clients more control over where their ads appear on YouTube
Companies Kvetch At Google For Pairing Ads With Extremist Content
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21 March, 2017

"The approach comes across to us as attempting to minimize the problem rather than eliminating it, which is the standard we think that many large brand advertisers expect", Wieser said. As a result the brands have pulled millions of pounds worth of advertising from the video platform.

Channel 4, BBC, Boots and Smart Energy GB ads appeared on videos by preacher Wagdi Ghoneim, who allegedy called Osama Bin Laden a "martyr hero majahid, while videos from former Ku Klux Klan imperial wizard David Duke received money from Transport for London, HSBC, Armani and the Financial Conduct Authority's marketing material".

Google's European chief has apologised to its clients after several brands pulled advertising from YouTube over extremist content.

According to latest press reports, other large brands working with agencies beyond Havas, including the United Kingdom government, L'Oreal, HSBC, Sky, Marks & Spencer, McDonald's and Audi, have also signaled that they would or could suspend their advertising on YouTube and other Google ad products.

Last week the committee summoned bosses from Google, Facebook (NasdaqGS: FB - news) and Twitter (Frankfurt: A1W6XZ - news), to question them about the action the web giants were taking to remove hate speech from their platforms.

"We accept that we don't always get it right, and that sometimes, ads appear where they should not", it continued.

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Weed said the controversy is a giant distraction from more pressing issues for brands in 2017.

"We're not confident that this approach will be sufficient to remedy advertiser concerns", a statement from the group said.

Google allocates adverts against content using its automated advertising systems, free from human judgement. "As we are not satisfied that YouTube is now a safe environment we have removed all Channel 4 advertising from the platform with immediate effect".

Google has responded, saying that its policies work as intended "in the vast majority of cases, protecting users and advertisers from harmful or inappropriate content".

Google advertising seems to be receiving a lot of flak over its advertisement placement of household brands on extremism promoting websites.

That set off another round of advertisers scrambling to understand how and when their ads appear online.


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