Google is attempting to ease concerns over brand safety – and head off a highly damaging advertising boycott – by overhauling its YouTube channel in a move which has been welcomed by the marketing industry.
The move follows calls from the IPA that both Facebook and Google – the biggest players in the market – work with it and ISBA to sort out issues over safety, measurement and viewability, amid claims that “progress is neither fast, nor significant, enough”.
Google claims the overhaul will see the biggest changes to the advertising rules on YouTube since the video site’s inception, including stricter criteria for the types of videos that can earn money on the site and the introduction of a new vetting process for the top-shelf videos it offers advertisers.
Now, Google will only open advertising to YouTube channels with more than 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 viewing hours racked up over a year. The restrictions are designed to filter out offensive videos.
In addition, YouTube has vowed that its staff of content moderators will screen every single video in Google Preferred, the company’s premium offering for marketers.
IPA president Sarah Golding, who is also CEO of CHI & Partners said: “The UK is arguably the most advanced large-scale digital market in the world. And there is no doubt that the brand-safety issues that have plagued us in recent months have threatened both our agencies’ and advertisers’ reputations. As such, we have been in ongoing dialogue with Google over the past year to help exact change in these areas. We are therefore very pleased to see that Google has set out a comprehensive set of actions to help rectify these issues and address our concerns.”
IPA’s Media Futures Group chair and UK CEO of GroupM Tom George added: “Whilst Google’s communication doesn’t go as far as the proposals the IPA presented to them following our meeting at the end of 2017, we believe it is a step in the right direction and evidence that Google has listened to the advertising community to try to resolve the issues of brand safety that have been the subject of much concern in 2017.”
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