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25 March 2017, 12:43 | Dawn Berry
Google's advertising crisis goes global
That means not only is Google's video arm taking a hit, but it's broader network of web advertising is suffering, too, as companies are under the assumption that Google is incapable of policing neither YouTube videos nor third-party websites with its current blend of user flagging, human moderation, and algorithmic detection. More than 250 brands, many of which are Havas clients, pulled the plug on their YouTube and GDN ad spending, including HSBC, Marks & Spencer, Toyota, McDonald's, Heinz, Volkswagen, O2, BBC, RBS and Tesco. Amusingly though, AT&T and Verizon - two US brands not exactly synonymous with ethical behavior - were quick to take advantage of the situation, issuing statements that they too were simply outraged - and would be pulling their advertising from some Google properties post haste.
Google has come under intense scrutiny for ads appearing alongside videos on YouTube carrying hate or offensive messages.
Google has promised a wide-ranging overhaul of its advertising policies in response to a growing boycott of the company's platforms from leading brands and advertisers including the United Kingdom government, Marks & Spencer and McDonald's. As such, they're boycotting Google advertising until the tech giant develops more accurate security measures for advertisers.
You Tube has been a key driver of growth for Google as its traditional business of search advertising matures.
AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, and Verizon join an ever-growing list of companies boycotting Google's YouTube.
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The company has vowed an overhaul of its practices and said it started an extensive review of its advertising policies. With YouTube's very diverse and wide selection of videos, it's nearly inevitable that these advertisements will be shown alongside some unfortunate clips sometime or another.
Major brands abandoned the video sharing website YouTube, a Google property, after their ads were situated adjacent to what Google Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler called "questionable content". It now flags content deemed pornographic, violent, and that which promotes illegal behavior, and pulls advertising from those pages.
An advert appearing alongside a YouTube video "earns the poster around £6 for every 1,000 clicks it generates", says the Independent, and as some videos can gain more than one million hits, it potentially generates tens of thousands of pounds a month for extremists. Similarly a 2% decrease would affect only 0.3% of the company's overall revenues.
As of Thursday night, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) , Ford (F) , Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Verizon (VZ), AT&T (T) and a host of other companies said they would be pulling ads from YouTube and Google's other non-search platforms after they discovered their ads were running alongside offensive or controversial videos, some of which was published by the Ku Klux Klan and other terrorist groups. In the fourth quarter of previous year, the company generated 85 percent of its total revenue from ad that generated $22.4 billion.
"I would think Google (and parent company Alphabet) would be extremely lucky to emerge from all this with minimal financial impact", he said in a blog post. To counter the growing backlash, Google on Tuesday said it will give companies greater control over where their ads appear and assign more people to enforce its ad policies.
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