Google has finally broken its silence over the brand backlash against its advertising placement policy, apologising to the industry although insisting it is “pennies not pounds” which have been paid to supporters of extremists groups.
The ad boycott now reads like a who’s who of brand marketing and includes the likes of Vodafone, the UK Government, Royal Mail, Marks & Spencer, RBS, Lloyds and HSBC, McDonald’s, L’Oreal and Audi, as well as the BBC, the Guardian and Channel 4.
The issue, which re-emerged last week, has forced Google EMEA chief Matt Brittin to issue the apology after The Times exposed fresh instances of ads being placed on extremist videos on YouTube.
He said Google had decided to accelerate its existing review. Speaking at Advertising Week, Brittin said: “I’m going to start by saying sorry to the brands that have been affected by this… We’ve investigated and for some of the advertisers it’s been a handful of impressions, pennies not pounds. We have had a review underway for some time and we’re accelerating that review.”
Brittin claimed that Google is looking at three different areas to address advertisers’ concerns. He said: “One area we’re looking at is policies. What [content] do we categorise as being safe for advertising.
“The second area is controls. We’ve seen that advertisers had the controls but some aren’t using them. If the controls are too complex that’s our problem so we will look to simplify them and look again at the default settings.
“The third area is enforcement. We can go further and faster in acting.”
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