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Published: Tue, March 21, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Google announces strategy to address concerns of ad misplacement and brand safety

Google announces strategy to address concerns of ad misplacement and brand safety

Several major companies and ad agencies have pulled their ads from Google and YouTube in recent days after a newspaper investigation showed their product pitches were being displayed on content including videos from former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

Speaking at Advertising Week Europe, Google's president of business and operations for EMEA, Matt Brittin, discussed how the company would attempt to solve advertisers concerns that their ads had been running alongside inappropriate video content.

The move by the United Kingdom food and apparel seller adds to the pressure on Google to step up policing to prevent offensive material, such as videos promoting terrorism or anti-Semitism, from appearing alongside ads.

An M&S spokesperson added: "In order to ensure brand safety, we are pausing activity across Google platforms whilst the matter is worked through".

"It is therefore vital that Google, DoubleClick and YouTube uphold the highest standards in terms of openness, transparency, and measures to avoid advertising fraud and misplacement in the future", Mr Pemsel said. Accordingly, they just followed the moves of multinational companies like L'Oreal, Audi, and McDonald's, O2, Royal Mail, Havas, and Marks & Spencer.

For background, there was an outcry last week as some ad buyers said their ads were placed alongside terrorist videos on Google's YouTube network. The FT reports that Google controls 60% of the digital ads market and the United Kingdom government has joined major brands in freezing its YouTube spending, which is reported to be around £60m per year.

Dan Brooke, Channel 4's chief marketing and communications officer, said the channel is "extremely concerned" about its advertising being placed alongside offensive material on YouTube. We take our responsibilities to these industry issues very seriously.

"It is frankly ridiculous that Google can take our money but not curate the content on its own website", said one executive at a FTSE 100 company to me.

"As programmatic advertising continues to grow, we need to be ever vigilant and responsive, working with clients and partners to ensure brand advertising only appears in brand safe environments", Ryan says.

"We have always said Google, Facebook and others are media companies and have the same responsibilities as any other media company", he said.

Google has responded, saying that its policies work as intended "in the vast majority of cases, protecting users and advertisers from harmful or inappropriate content".

The association wants companies such as Amazon, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn to break down the walls around their apps so advertisers are able to better understand where the ads they are paying for are being seen. But advertisers weren't using such tools, .

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