Google has reacted to many companies withdrawing online adverts by promising to take “a tougher stance on offensive, hateful and derogatory content”. Google would also tighten advertising safeguards, said Philipp Schindler, the firm’s chief business officer. He further added that as well as removing content, its YouTube team would revisit the guidelines on allowable videos. The change came after several firms withdrew their ads when some appeared next to extremist content on YouTube. Several high-profile companies, including RBS, L’Oreal, Marks and Spencer and Audi, have pulled online promoting from YouTube, which is owned by Google.
“Anyone with a smartphone can be a content creator, app developer or entrepreneur”, said Mr. Schindler in a blog post. Google has changed millions of content publishers and creators to be heard, find an audience, build a business or even earn a living. “We have a responsibility to protect this creative, vibrant world – from rising creators to established publishers – even when we don’t always agree with the views being expressed.
“But we also have a responsibility to our advertisers who help these publishers and creators thrive.” “We have hard-and-fast policies that define where Google ads should appear and in the vast majority of cases, our policies and tools work as intended”, he added. But at times we don’t get it right. “Recently, we had many cases where brands’ ads appeared on content that was not aligned with their values.”
“For this, we deeply apologize. We know that this is unacceptable to the agencies and advertisers who put their trust in us. ” A recent investigation by the Times found adverts from a range of well-known organizations and firms had appeared alongside content from supporters of extremist groups on YouTube. Last week, ministers called Google for talks at the Cabinet Office after imposing a temporary restriction on the government’s own adverts, including for blood donation and military recruitment campaigns. Google would be “hiring significant numbers of people and developing new tools to gain our capacity to review questionable content for advertising”, Mr. Schindler added.