British firms are pulling out their ads from Google's YouTube in order to avoid it being played alongside videos that have controversial content such as terrorism, hate speech, and racism.
Marks & Spencer, HSBC, and McDonald's are just some of the firms that have stopped using YouTube's ad platform, reports Reuters and NBC News. This is over concerns that the ads will be played in videos that have terrorist, hate, and racist content and that extremist groups might earn money from the ads.
The UK government likewise pulled out its ads when public sector advertisements appeared next to the aforementioned videos. Ad agencies are also reviewing how they work with Google, reports Reuters.
NBC News writes that one ad agency in particular, Havas Worldwide, failed to agree with Google on how to keep ads away from videos posted by terrorists and white supremacists. It led to the agency pulling out all of its ad money from Google and YouTube in Britain.
Matt Brittin, Google EMEA President, was present at Advertising Week Europe in London and he apologized to Google's partners and advertisers over the matter. "I would like to apologize to our partners and advertisers who might have been affected by their ads appearing on controversial content."
Google is committed to doing better, added Brittin. It would simplify add controls as well as add safer defaults.
Reuters also reports that Google is working on making sure that ads do not appear on the videos with controversial content. However, it is not fully successful given that 400 hours of video are uploaded to the website every minute.
While some firms have stopped using YouTube's ad platform, others have not done so and are still reviewing policies. Some of these companies include Barclays, Tesco, and Vodafone.
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