Google & its video platform YouTube have come under a lot of fire in recent weeks for running ads next to extremist and anti-Semitic videos. After The UK government and The Guardian pulled their Ads from the video site, Google has finally announced that it will revamp its Ad policies.
In a blog post, Google announced that it will allow clients the ability to control where their ads are displayed on both YouTube and Google Display network, which posts Ads to third-party sites. This came after Havas, the world’s sixth-largest advertising and marketing company, pulled its UK clients’ ads from Google and YouTube on Friday after they couldn’t get assurances from Google that the ads wouldn’t appear next to offensive material. Now even large US companies like AT & T and Verizon have pulled ads off Youtube.
What triggered the decision to pull ads from Google is an investigation by Times of London that revealed that ads from many large companies and the UK government appeared alongside objectionable content from people such as white nationalist David Duke and pastor Steven Anderson, who praised the killing of 49 people in a gay nightclub.
Ronan Harris, Google UK’s Managing Director, said in a blog post that Google had “heard from our advertisers loud and clear that we can provide simpler, more robust ways to stop their ads from showing against controversial content”. He mentioned that last year, Google had removed nearly 2 billion offensive ads from its platform and also blacklisted 100,000 publishers using Google Ad Sense Program. He also said that Google will now review its policies and make changes in the coming weeks to help customers stop their ads appearing on objectionable websites or against offensive videos.
If you’re showing Ads via Google platform, now might be a good time to check if it’s appearing next to objectionable content online.