Advertisers demand Google discounts after YouTube backlash

Google’s problems began in the United Kingdom, when the Times of London published an investigation last month (paywall) showing that ads from major brands were appearing next to hundreds of YouTube videos containing hate speech.

ATT, Lyft, Johnson Johnson, Verizon, GlaxoSmithKline, Volkswagen, Toyota, BBC, Ford and many others were among those to react similarly, with plenty of others now seeking urgent clarification from YouTube.

Nomura suggested that pitches from the major networks might be more appealing to advertisers because of the problems at YouTube, and that they might shift at least some of their spending away from Google as a result.

Neo-Nazi propaganda has also become increasingly prevalent on the site, displayed alongside ads for local businesses. This includes control for ads that will enable them only to show on certain contents that reflect the advertiser’s brand and image.

Nissan said it was “urgently reviewing” with Google while Nilson Group, owner of Skopunkten, said it had asked its media agency about the ads and is “awaiting answers”, according to Linda Fernell, a spokeswoman.

In response to this controversy, Google has issued a series of steps it will take in order to counterattack the crisis at hand.

“It’s the power of purse strings to change behavior faster than any lawsuits”, Ron Urbach, co-chair of the Advertising, Marketing Promotions Practice Group at Davis Gilbert LLP, told Bloomberg BNA.

It’s not an easy problem to fix, even for a company with the brainpower that Google has drawn upon to build a search engine that billions trust to find the information they want in a matter of seconds.

ATT and Verizon are one of the biggest advertisers in the US.

But Google’s loss could be traditional media’s gain!

Pressure On Google Data Policies.

The Association of National Advertisers, the U.S. trade group, called the placement of ads next to extremist videos, “a crisis” and urged Google and digital advertising groups “to take the necessary steps to guarantee the safety and reputations of our brands”. The company will also aim to be more effective in removing ads harassing people based on their race, religion and gender, the post said.

Google is now looking for a solution to the issue, however, chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet Eric Schmidt told Fox Business last week the company “can’t guarantee” the issue won’t keep happening. In this case, she said, the filters apparently failed.

Google depends mostly on automated programs to place ads in YouTube videos because the job is too much for humans to handle on their own.

The search engine already is under fire in a lawsuit brought by three families of victims of the December 2016 Orlando nightclub terrorist attacks.

This has opened up the whole of the Internet to brands, which typically opt to remove their ads after they have appeared on unsavory sites, rather than restrict the ads to a list of preapproved locations.

According to the company, the total drop in revenues could represent 7.5pc of YouTube’s total income, though given the speed with which the companies have boycotted YouTube, and the size of the figures involved, conformity among analysts’ fears is hard to spot.

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