Google responds to ad boycott

Posted March 22, 2017

Talking about the same, Google's Chief business officer Philipp Schindler says that the platform is constantly evolving and sometimes they don't get everything right.

On Monday, Marks & Spencer became the latest company to freeze ad spend with the global giant to "ensure brand safety" while the "matter is worked through".

"Google's stated intent and direction are very welcome - however, advertisers will want to see concrete evidence that their brands can not appear against inappropriate content", said Phil Smith, director general of ISBA, the advertising trade group with members stretching from Centrica to BT and Heineken.

The inappropriate contents include videos from former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, the report stated. The blog post breaks these measures into three points: tightening standards over offensive content; introducing new tools for advertisers to manage ad placements; and greater resources for reviewing content - including hiring more staff and developing new AI-based tools.

Google isn't the only major ad platform to be facing such scrutiny.

United Kingdom advertisers last week, including the government, the Guardian newspaper and the BBC, removed their ads from Google products because they were placed by illicit and extremist content.

Britain is the second largest market for Google after the US, generating $7.8 billion primarily from advertising in 2016. The YouTube team is taking a hard look at our existing community guidelines to determine what content is allowed on the platform-not just what content can be monetized. But at times we don't get it right.

Google already provides such controls, but advertisers weren't using them perhaps because they were too complex, said Matt Brittin, Google's president for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

"It is totally unacceptable that taxpayer-funded advertising has appeared next to inappropriate internet content - and that message was conveyed very clearly to Google", a government spokesman said on Monday. For large marketers, even one ad placed next to extremist content can cause harm to a brand, he said.

However, lack of control from Google website management had led to boycott by the advertising companies and media publishers.

That should enable the company to avoid problems, or "resolve these cases in less than a few hours". It all happened when the companies found that their products are been advertised next to the extremist columns and controversial contents.

L'Oreal, the cosmetics brand, said it was unaware that ads it was running in connection with the Prince's Trust, a charity founded by Prince Charles that helps train disadvantaged young people for work, were appearing on YouTube channels associated with extremists.