Google apologizes over misplacement of ads on YouTube

Other reports implied more companies including the U.K. Government, L'Oreal, RBS, HSBC, Sainsbury's, Sky, Marks & Spencer, McDonald's and Audi have also insinuated they would yank ads from the Google-owned platforms over relatable worries, Pivotal said.

"In a very small percentage of cases, ads appear against content that violates our monetisation policies", Ronan Harris, the firm's United Kingdom managing director, said on Friday.

The move comes after companies including Marks & Spencer, McDonald's and Tesco withdrew advertising from Google in the United Kingdom due to their ads being displayed by Google in extremist YouTube videos.

The papers found that Google's automated systems were placing ads for major brands on videos of former KKK leader David Duke, Islamic State sympathizers and a homophobic preacher who praised the Orlando nightclub shooting, among other controversial content. The search-engine giant said in a blog post Friday that it would give clients more control over where their ads appear on YouTube and the Google Display Network, which posts advertising to third-party sites.

The crisis was enough to prompt ad industry analyst Brian Wieser to downgrade parent company Alphabet's stock from "buy" to "hold" on Monday.

Havas in the United Kingdom has also pulled advertising on behalf of UK-based clients.

Last week, a top Google executive told British lawmakers that an antisemitic YouTube video titled "Jews admit organizing White Genocide" did not constitute hate speech.

Last week, the Financial Times found ads from the United Kingdom government and others running with YouTube videos by USA white nationalist David Duke and an Egyptian terror advocate.

It also criticised Facebook, Twitter and Google for terms and conditions that purport to appoint courts in California as the arbiter instead of courts in the European Union country in which the user lives.

Google was subsequently summoned by British lawmakers to explain itself (technically, the company is in charge of approving users that intend to make money from advertising and ensure they comply with the site's policies) in front of the Cabinet Office.

A number of brands and agencies contacted by The Australian Financial Review on Sunday said they will consider the issue this week after reports in the United Kingdom gathered momentum over the weekend.

Marks & Spencer have pulled their adverts from Google and YouTube as the tech giants fail to "provide specific reassurances" that adverts would not be displayed alongside those promoting extremism.

"It's not just a Google/YouTube issue, though we're in the spotlight", he said.

YouTube is launching a new TV cable bundle, where it might find it has more control over a more curated digital video experience.

  • Salvatore Jensen