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Google to Simplify YouTube Advertiser Controls Amid Outcry Over Extremist Videos

Google to Simplify YouTube Advertiser Controls Amid Outcry Over Extremist Videos

A slew of big-name companies, advertising firms and government departments have either pulled their adverts from Google and its YouTube video site, or are considering whether to do so, with media giant Sky and a trio of banks adding their names to a growing list over the weekend.

The announcement came after the United Kingdom government and the Guardian newspaper pulled ads from the video site, stepping up pressure on YouTube to police content on its platform.

"We think that Google will probably need to articulate goals that sound more like a zero tolerance policy, to alleviate concerns before it can fully recover".

Apart from the basic embarassment and potential brand damage this could cause, there's also the fact that every time an ad appearing alongside a YouTube video picks up a thousand clicks, the person or organistaion that posted that video picks up £6.

The inappropriate contents include videos from former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, the report stated.

Google reps have admitted they "don't always get it right."

With these advertisements showing up on hate sites, these brands were indirectly and unknowingly contributing to extremism enticing agencies. It may not quell the controversy: A British politician has said Google is "profiting from hatred". A clutch of companies followed suit, including McDonald's, Audi and L'Oreal and global advertising firm Havas, as well as three United Kingdom banks-RBS, Lloyds and HSBC-and announced over the weekend they would withdraw their ads with Google.

Before the Commons Home Affairs Committee last week Twitter, Google and Facebook executives were told by chair Yvette Cooper that they had a "terrible reputation" amongst their own users for dealing with problems involving hate speech, given the billions of pounds they make in the UK.

It is understood that Google have previously appeared in front of senior civil servants and apologised about hosting extremist content, pledging a review of their advertising systems. "Our position will remain until we are confident in the YouTube platform and Google Display Network's ability to deliver the standards we and our clients expect".

A Google spokesman said it has "strict guidelines" and "in the vast majority of cases" its policies work.

On the first point, it's notable that Google is being given time to fix the problem by advertisers.

GroupM's director of technical operations Timothy Whitfield said there is no way to completely guarantee brand safety on digital media and MCN's digital partnerships and product development director Suzie Cardwell said when you buy against an audience on YouTube at a relatively low cost, you run the risk of having ads placed against unsuitable content.

"We are sorry to hear of anybody that's been affected, we are working hard to improve policy, controls and enforcement, there will be more specifics very soon, and we are working on that with the industry". This means advertisers have no control over where their ads end up.

Michael Roth, chief executive officer of Interpublic Group of Cos., warned that the New York-based advertising company would also pull ads from YouTube if it doesn't police the platform more thoroughly to avoid awkward juxtapositions for advertisers. But advertisers weren't using such tools, .

But YouTube doesn't proactively manage the content on its platform. The content in question isn't pornographic, but the block can be triggered seemingly by the use of certain words, such as transgender.

Utter shamelessness of filth-peddling web giants who insist they're as innocent as your local postie.

The retailer has become that latest organisation to freeze its advertising with Google, alongside the BBC, HSBC, Havas, L'Oreal and Audi. This is hugely embarrassing and needs to be seen to be addressed seriously.


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