Published: Thu, April 06, 2017
Technology | By Ramiro Moody

Here's what the ad industry thinks of the massive Google boycott

Here's what the ad industry thinks of the massive Google boycott

As you know, Google promised to make ad controls for advertisers as advertisers continue to leave Google over the controversy around their ads being shown on hateful, offensive and derogatory content sites and YouTube videos.

"As part of our commitment to provide even more transparency and visibility to our advertising partners, we'll be working with trusted vendors to provide third party brand safety reporting on YouTube", said a spokesperson for the Google company.

Google said it was using new machine-learning or artificial intelligence systems to enforce its policies, to help content objectionable to advertisers.

"It has always been a small problem", Schindler told the technology news service, adding that a minuscule number of advertisements were running alongside videos not deemed "brand-safe". "We have limited resources". That includes everything from public messages from the Department of Health to Defence Force recruiting ads (though not ads for Government owned corporations like Australia Post).

In the past few weeks consumers and the media have called attention to ads from many reputable brands appearing, without their consent, on vile, extremist videos - with racist, anti-Semitic and misogynistic content - posted on YouTube.

In a statement, Google said "many" advertisers have made a decision to resume their spending but would not specify which companies it was referring to.

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Brands using YouTube and other Google products have the ability to target certain demographics very precisely, but can not control on which videos and websites their brand appears - as that is decided by an algorithm.

A Google spokesperson said "while we recognize that no system will be 100% ideal, we believe these major steps will further safeguard our advertisers' brands and we are committed to being vigilant and continuing to improve over time". "Agencies will go back to clients and say 'here are the filters, we believe they work, ' and Google will have some sort of guidelines for flagging content". The brand-safety crisis, which has led to a widespread boycott by advertisers because their ads have been appearing in front of jihadist and antiSemitic videos, is just the start.

Google is witnessing dark days after its inappropriate ad-placement received a major backlash from popular brands like L'Oréal, PepsiCo, and others.

YouTube is under fire once more. The predicament for Google is to manage the placement of ads for a user without betraying the trust of it's customers. Search advertising, which makes up the bulk of Google's revenue, wouldn't be affected by the ad boycott. Tight restrictions on ads could cut funding for independent video creators and step between advertisers and consumers, Schindler said.

"Cutting away the ability for brands to truly interact with consumers by asking for one hundred percent safety is very, very, very unrealistic", Schindler said.

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