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M&S becomes latest brand to pull advertising from YouTube and Google over extremist videos

Monday, March 20, 2017 5:33
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Marks and Spencer Group Plc (M&S) (LON:MKS) has become the latest company to halt advertising on Google and YouTube after its marketing was placed alongside extremist content.

The retailer released a statement last night confirming its decision to remove the advertising, which was positioned next to videos that advocate terrorism.  

“In order to ensure brand safety, we are pausing activity across Google platforms whilst the matter is worked through,” M&S said.

M&S joins a string of companies that have pulled adverts, including the BBC, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, L’Oreal, Audi and international media agency Havas. Sky plc, Barclays plc, Vodafone and Waitrose are also reportedly considering doing the same.

YouTube, one of Google’s subsidiaries, pays £6.15 of advertising revenue to those who post videos, which means companies have been inadvertently funding terror groups.

The UK government has suspended its spending on YouTube until the problem is resolved. Its YouTube funding is part of a £60mln annual budget for digital advertising,

Google, owned by Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL), currently relies on users to flag up such issues and has said it must do more to address the problem. The group has promised to make changes to its technology in the coming weeks to give brands more control over where their ads appear. 

Google’s EMEA chief Matt Brittin said today at the Advertising Week Europe event in London that he was “sorry, this should not happen, and we need to do better”.

“There are brands who have reached out to us and are talking to our teams about whether they are affected or concerned by this,” he said. 

“I have spoken personally to a number of advertisers over the last few days as well. Those that I have spoken to, by the way, we have been talking about a handful of impressions and pennies not pounds of spend — that’s in the case of the ones I’ve spoken to at least. However small or big the issue, it’s an important issue that we address.”

– Adds apology from Google EMEA chief —

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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