Youtube is cracking down on its content after a sudden dip in advertisers. Advertising company Media Radar reports that Youtube experienced a 5% decline in advertising in the US and Canada market this year.
So far, companies such as AT&T, Starbucks, Pepsi, and Dish have pulled the plug on Youtube advertising. Other companies like Johnson & Johnson, JP Morgan Chase, Walmart, General Motors, and Verizon also have also followed suit. The decision comes after a report published by The Times of London confirmed that banner ads were displayed on videos containing content from Neo-Nazis and ISIS members.
Although Youtube is a $12 billion company, the video-sharing site has not managed to find an effective way to monitor content and control where banner ads are placed. The site doesn’t prohibit hate groups from uploading content but it does not give advertisers a choice regarding where their ads are displayed. Until now.
Google, Youtube’s parent company, has decided to step in and alter algorithms to prevent ads from being displayed on hate speech videos.
Because of the massive reach of content sites such as Youtube and Facebook, advertisers are treating these companies like news stations or TV networks. When working with TV networks, advertisers take the time to make sure their ads are not displayed during programs that don’t fit the brand message or competing ads.
But, unlike TV stations, Google does not provide advertisers with information regarding the reach or effectiveness of their ads. So, advertisers are largely in the dark regarding metrics.
Google Chief Business Officer, Phillip Schindler said:
“We know advertisers don’t want their ads next to content that doesn’t align with their values. So, starting today, we’re taking a tougher stance on hateful, offensive and derogatory content. In cases where advertisers find their ads were served where they shouldn’t have been, we plan to offer a new escalation path to make it easier for them to raise issues.”
However, Matan Uziel, owner of Youtube channel Real Women, Real Stories which is dedicated to helping women tell their stories regarding hardship, believes Youtube isn’t doing enough.
“They don’t know the difference between videos that are fighting the issues and videos that are from people who celebrate gender-based violence.”