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Google Promises Better Ad Control After Major Brands Pull Content Over Extremism Row

Bad ads

Google will give brands more control over where their ads appear, after big name advertisers pulled ads from its platform.

The Guardian, BBC, McDonald’s and the UK government are among those to have pulled advertising from Google, after ads were found to have been placed next to extremist content on YouTube.

Such content included YouTube videos of white nationalists and a hate preacher banned in the UK.

An investigation by The Sunday Times found ads for major brands had been placed alongside videos of former Klu Klux Klan leader David Duke, and groups linked to Isis.

To add fuel to the fire, these adverts help generate money for the people who post the videos – 1,000 clicks worth around £6.

French global advertising group Havas, which spends around £175m on advertising for clients like O2 and IKEA, recently announced its decision to cancel all advertising with Google and YouTube.

The firm said Google were “unable to provide specific reassurances, policy and guarantees that their video or display content is classified either quickly enough or with the correct filters”.

The UK government followed suit, stopping its YouTube ad spend “pending reassurances from Google that Government messages can be delivered in a safe and appropriate way”.

And after Google’s Head of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Matt Brittin, apologised yesterday for the furore at the Advertising Week Europe conference in London, the tech giant has announced plans to make changes to its ad platform.

On its official blog, Google UK’s Managing Director Ronan Harris said the company has begun a “thorough review of our ads policies and brand controls” and that changes would be made in the coming weeks.

Harris said the updates would give brands more control over where their ads appear across YouTube and the Google Display Network.

The Google UK Managing Director said: “We are committed to working with publishers, advertisers and agencies to address these issues and earn their trust every day so that they can use our services both successfully and safely.”

Read the full blog here.

Simon Edmunds

Simon is the former editor of Global Dating Insights. Born in Newcastle, he has an English degree from Queen Mary, London and after working for the NHS, trained as a journalist with the Press Association. Passionate about music, journalism and Newcastle United.

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