INTERNET (MARCH 20, 2017) (REUTERS) – Google apologised on Monday (March 20) for allowing ads to appear alongside offensive videos on YouTube as more high-profile firms such as Marks & Spencer and HSBC pulled advertising for British markets from Google sites.
The British government has suspended its advertising on YouTube after some public sector ads appeared next to videos carrying homophobic and anti-semitic messages, prompting a flood of major companies to follow suit.
The boycott is the latest clash between advertising companies and the internet giants that have built up dominant positions in digital advertising by offering not only huge audiences but also the ability to apply their user data to make ads more targeted and relevant.
Google’s EMEA President Matt Brittin said the company had made a commitment to doing better and would simplify advertiser controls, add safer defaults and increase investment to enforce its ad policies faster.
Representatives for retailers Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Argos, British banks HSBC and RBS, McDonald’s, the UK branch of advertising group Havas and the BBC told Reuters their firms had stopped ads.