Google is revising its ads policy after receiving flak from major UK brands.
“We’ve heard from our advertisers and agencies loud and clear that we can provide simpler, more robust ways to stop their ads from showing against controversial content,” Google’s UK managing director, Ronan Harris, wrote in a blog post.
A French advertising group, Havas, the world’s sixth-largest advertising and marketing company, pulled its UK clients’ ads from Google and YouTube because they appeared alongside offensive content, such as videos promoting terrorism or anti-Semitism. The client names include wireless carrier O2, Royal Mail Plc, government-owned British Broadcasting Corp., Domino’s Pizza and Hyundai-Kia.
The content included YouTube videos of American white nationalists, a hate preacher banned in the UK and a controversial Islamist preacher.
According to Havas, Google had been “unable to provide specific reassurances, policy and guarantees that their video or display content is classified either quickly enough or with the correct filters.” Due to which, the company took the step.
Paul Frampton, Havas UK chief executive and a country manager said, “We have a duty of care to our clients in the UK marketplace to position their brands in the right context where we can be assured that that environment is safe, regulated to the degree necessary and additive to their brands’ objectives.”
“Our position will remain until we are confident in the YouTube platform and Google Display Network’s ability to deliver the standards we and our clients expect,” he further added.
Though Havas called its latest step a “temporary move,” Google is trying to gain the lost trust by launching new features. “While we have a wide variety of tools to give advertisers and agencies control over where their ads appear…we can do a better job of addressing the small number of inappropriately monetized videos and content. We’ve begun a thorough review of our ads policies and brand controls, and we will be making changes in the coming weeks to give brands more control over where their ads appear on YouTube and the Google Display Network,” Harris promised.
Harris also mentioned that the company removed nearly 2 billion “bad ads” from its systems, removed over 1,00,000 publishers from its AdSense programme and prevented ads from serving on over 300 million YouTube videos.