More big brands pull ads from YouTube
By April Kirstin Chua
Big brands are pulling their ads out of Google's YouTube after it appeared next to extremist videos.
Wal-Mart, PepsiCo, Starbucks, General Motors, FX Networks and Dish Network have joined AT&T, Verizon and several others in the advertising blackout against Youtube after learning that their ads have appeared next to videos that contain hate speech, including white nationalist, sexist and homophobic contents designed for the purpose of promoting terrorism.
The brands told reporters on Thursday that they were pulling either some or all of their ads from Google-partnered websites. This comes after they were being alerted that their ads were still appearing next to extremist videos even after YouTube has apologized for it. Google said on Tuesday that it would work to resolve the issues through a stricter enforcement of its rules.
"We don't comment on individual customers but as announced, we've begun an extensive review of our advertising policies and have made a public commitment to put in place changes that give brands more control over where their ads appear," Google said in a statement released by The Verge. The internet giant also said it would raise the bar of their ads policies to safeguard their advertiser's brands. Despite this, some ads of the brands mentioned still appear alongside videos that promote hate and are offensive.
PepsiCo expressed their concern and disappointment over YouTube's unceasing actions. The company has already removed their ads from all of Google's non-search services, including YouTube. Starbucks, on the other hand, was shocked by the development and stressed that the videos don't fit with its vision or culture. Likewise, it has removed ads and is discussing ways to prevent similar actions in the future.
GM confirmed it had already pulled its ads while Wal-Mart said it pulled all non-search ads. Major brands including Amazon, Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble and Microsoft also had their ads appear next to extremist YouTube videos. Coke had pulled its non-search ads while Microsoft is working with its media partners to fix the issue. Other companies being mentioned declined to comment on the matter.
This marks the latest and most shocking bad news from the internet's second-most-trafficked site. Researcher Alex Krasodomski-Jones of thinktank Demos describes the event as a turning point for YouTube because it is dealing not only with reputation but revenue damage. This also calls all internet companies to take more responsibility for their websites such as when Facebook was forced to deal with the "fake news" scandal. Likewise, advertisers, and agencies should audit their ads to ensure that it appears in the desired location.