Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Electronics | By Jesus Weaver

Banks pull Google ads in row over hate videos

Banks pull Google ads in row over hate videos

It is reported that YouTube accounts posting extremist content, including that of former Ku Klux Klan member David Duke, could have made around £250,000 from the ads placed alongside their videos. Sky plc, Barclays plc, Vodafone and Waitrose are also reportedly considering doing the same.

The ads were worth about £6 for every 1,000 viewers, adding up to about £250,000 for extremists, according to experts.

Havas Group Asia-Pacific has said it will not pull programmatic advertisements from Google and YouTube following a media storm in the United Kingdom over brands appearing next to videos with "questionable or unsafe content", such as terrorist propaganda.

Google was asked to return for another meeting this week to set out the action they plan to take.

Google executives are bracing for a two-pronged inquisition from the advertising industry and United Kingdom government over the company's plans to stop ads being placed next to extremist material.

The French advertising and media company had announced that its clients in the United Kingdom, including Domino's Pizza and Hyundai, would temporarily boycott Google after a number of ads were placed next to content promoting extremism and hate speech.

Google said it has "strict guidelines" in place to determine where adverts should appear, but acknowledged it doesn't "always get it right".

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".

"We are now seeking reassurances from Google as to how they can improve its filters to ensure this does not happen in the future".

The company said it would make changes to its policies and brand controls for advertisers.

Other businesses including Barclays are considering what to do - though Barclays does not now have any advertising on YouTube or Google.

Earlier this week, Havas Group UK chief executive and country manager Paul Frampton announced last week the agency was stopping its UK clients' spend on Google until the internet company sorts the issue.

Senior figures from the company were summoned to the Cabinet Office last week over concerns that United Kingdom taxpayer-funded adverts were appearing alongside "inappropriate" YouTube videos.

Currently Google flags and then reviews questionable content, and deals with about 200,000 flags per day.

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