Major US brands have followed the UK’s lead in removing advertising from Google after having their logos placed alongside extremist content, with Australia closely monitoring the situation.
The British government, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and retail giant Marks & Spencer have pulled their adverts from the media platform after their brands were placed alongside explicit and extremist-friendly content on YouTube, which is owned and controlled by Google.
The adverts from these brands will remain on Google’s search engine platform, but will be removed from all Google’s non-search facets and subsidiaries.
There have been at least four major US firms to publicly pull their brands already, including US telecoms giants AT&T and Verizon joining car rental company Enterprise and pharmaceuticals titan GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
“We are deeply concerned that our ads may have appeared alongside YouTube content promoting terrorism and hate,” said a statement from AT&T following the decision.
“Until Google can ensure this won’t happen again, we are removing our ads from Google’s non-search platforms.”
Google has already released apologies for the use of these advertisements alongside hate content, stating that they will work to not only monitor ad placement more closely, but to also improve its record on reviewing the content it allows onto its platforms and filtering out incendiary material.
However, British MP Yvette Cooper is one of several parties expressing the need for further details on Google’s plan of action and seeking reassurance on how its improved policing of its sites will manifest itself.
“They need to say whether they will be paying back any of that advertising revenue and to answer our questions on what more they are doing to root out extremism or illegal activity on YouTube because they are still failing to do enough to remove illegal or hate-filled content from YouTube,” said Mrs Cooper.