WASHINGTON: AT&T and Verizon have joined global firms pulling ads from Google, saying they did not want their brands associated with inappropriate content on the internet giant.
The move by the two US telecom giants came despite a pledge by Google this week to offer new tools for companies to avoid placing ads alongside undesirable websites or videos.
“We are deeply concerned that our ads may have appeared alongside YouTube content promoting terrorism and hate,” an emailed statement from AT&T said, indicating it was removing non-search ads from Google.
Verizon said it discovered its ads were appearing on “non-sanctioned websites,” and that it takes “careful measures to ensure our brand is not impacted negatively”.
Google unveils tools to prevent ads alongside undesirable content
A Verizon spokesperson said in an email: “We took immediate action to suspend this type of ad placement and launched an investigation. We are working with all of our digital advertising partners to understand the weak links so we can prevent this from happening in the future.”
The announcements follow similar actions from the British arm of Havas, one of the world’s top advertising agencies, as well as banking giant HSBC, retailer Marks & Spencer, the BBC and the Guardian newspaper group.
On Monday, Google apologised for the placement of ads on militant content and pledged it would address the concerns.“We know advertisers don’t want their ads next to content that doesn’t align with their values,” Google’s Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler said in a blog post.
Google apologises to ad clients for YouTube content fiasco
The boycott began last week after the Times newspaper of London found BBC programmes were promoted alongside videos posted by American white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan member David Duke as well as videos by Wagdi Ghoneim, a preacher banned from Britain for inciting hatred.