The British government and Marks and spencer Group pulled advertising from Alphabet Inc.’ Google sites because of concerns that their spots on the search engine giant were appearing alongside offensive clips and messages on its YouTube video-sharing site.
Britain is the largest market for Alphabet Inc.’s Google outside the United States, generating $7.8 billion mainly from advertising in 2016, or nearly nine percent of the U.S. giant’s global revenue.
“I would like to apologize to our partners and advertisers who might have been affected by their ads appearing on controversial content,” Google EMEA President Matt Brittin said at the annual Advertising Week Europe event in London.
Some of the biggest advertising companies in the world are also pulling the plug besides famous British brands and said they were revising how they operated with google. For a big advertising group, such as WPP, internet firms are both a client and a competitor, while traditional media groups such as newspapers and general online news publishers are having to compete with them for online dollars.
“Google faces a hostile industry of media owners in Europe…and we expect they will be all too happy to highlight future brand safety failings,” said Brian Wieser, a senior analyst at Pivotal Research Group.
“Overall, we think that the problems which have come to light will have global repercussions as UK marketers potentially adapt their UK policies to other markets and as marketers around the world become more aware of the problem,” he said.
WPP on Monday also said that clients and media partners like Google, Facebook and Snapchat are to search of customs to avoid brands from being stained.
“We have always said Google, Facebook and others are media companies and have the same responsibilities as any other media company. They cannot masquerade as technology companies, particularly when they place advertisements,” said Martin Sorrell, the founder and head of the British firm.
Google said around 400 hours of videos are uploaded to YouTube every minute and that the company has so far relied on users to flag offensive material and reported contents are reviewed within 24 hours.
Brittin said Google had made a commitment to doing better and would simplify advertiser controls, add safer defaults and increase investment to enforce its ad policies faster.