Google is reportedly losing hundreds of millions in advertising dollars after several major US brands pulled their ads when they started appearing next to offensive and extremist content. Brands which have pulled their advertising so far include AT&T, Verizon, Johnson & Johnson, and others.
Google recently made a statement saying it would do more to keep ads away from controversial content, but that was not enough to satisfy advertisers’ concerns.
Verizon has pulled all ads. AT&T has pulled all ads except for search ads, and Johnson & Johnson has pulled all YouTube advertising. Despite the ads being removed at this point, the companies will continue to work together with Google to resolve the situation.
GSK, the world’s sixth-largest pharmaceutical company, also found ads for its products appearing next to extremist content. However, Google’s acknowledgement of the issue and recent statements that it will do more to protect advertisers has encouraged the company to stay on board.
While Google has policies in place over where ads are eligible to appear, some ads do still end up appearing next to content that violates Google’s advertising guidelines.
In addition to taking a tougher stance on extremist, Google says it will hand more control over to advertisers themselves. This will give them the ability to decide where their ads appear.
Time will tell if these measures will be enough to quell advertisers’ concerns and restore faith that they can safely run ads on Google’s network, without fear of them appearing next to objectionable content.