Internet giant has been snubbed by firms including Toyota and Heinz due to advertising associated with unsafe content
GOOGLE yesterday apologised for placing ads for well-known family brands next to extremist content.
It came as Marks & Spencer joined global brands such as Toyota and Heinz to pull advertising from the web giant and its YouTube site.
Google vowed to “raise the bar” on what is considered safe content on videos and websites.
Its European boss Matt Brittin, speaking at an advertising industry conference in London, said: “I would like to apologise to our partners and advertisers who might have been affected by their ads appearing on controversial content.
“We take our responsibilities to these industry issues very seriously.”
He said the search engine plans to make it easier for firms to decide where their ads appear.
M&S was concerned its ads were appearing next to extremist content.
The Government, marketing giant Havas — whose clients include O2, the BBC and Royal Mail — and banks RBS, Lloyds and HSBC have already done the same.
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An ad appearing next to a video earns the poster about £6 for every 1,000 clicks it generates, meaning brands may have unwittingly contributed cash to extremists.
An M&S spokesperson said: “To ensure brand safety, we are pausing activity across Google platforms while the matter is worked through.”
Sky and Vodafone are also considering suspending their ads.
US media analyst Brian Wieser, of equity research firm Pivotal, warned the scandal brewing in the UK could have “global repercussions” for Google.
BOYCOTT SO FAR
COMPANIES that have pulled advertising spend from Google and/or YouTube:
Marketing firm Havas (whose clients include O2 and Royal Mail), HSBC, BBC, Lloyds, RBS, McDonald’s, L’Oréal, Audi, VW, Toyota, Sainsbury’s, Argos, Tesco, Channel 4, The Guardian, UK Government, ITV, Aviva, Heinz, Go Ape, Hargreaves Lansdown.
OTHERS reviewing their relationship with Google and/or YouTube:
Publicis (the world’s third largest advertising firm), media giant Sky, telecoms group Vodafone and Barclays Bank.
GREEDY web giants are leaving a generation of school kids at risk of cyber bullying and exploitation by not having default filters, a cross-party committee of peers said last night.