News | 21/03/2017

Google Display Network controversy: our response

Posted by Christian Ryan

If you haven’t already heard, in the past few days there has been some controversy surrounding the Google Display Network (Google’s network of advertising platforms) with big brands and small businesses alike finding their adverts inadvertently linked to extremist content. In light of these recent revelations, we wanted to keep you abreast of how this may or may not affect you and your business.

Since the news broke, a number of high-profile brands have pulled their adverts from the Google Display Network; Audi, RBS, M&S and L’Oreal, are just a few. Why? Because a recent investigation by the Times found adverts appearing alongside content from supporters of extremist groups on YouTube’s video site. In some instances, this may have even funded extremism, earning a potential £6 per 1000 views.

At Cobb Digital, we completely understand how this could cause upset and so we’ve made a stand until the issue is sorted. We have pulled all advertising from YouTube for the foreseeable future.

On top of this, we have manually checked each of our clients’ campaigns within the Google Display network to ensure that they are not supporting extremism.

Ronan Harris, the managing director of Google UK, said in a statement:

“With millions of sites in our network and 400 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, we recognise that we don’t always get it right. In a very small percentage of cases, ads appear against content that violates our monetization policies. We promptly remove the ads in those instances, but we know we can and must do more.

“We’ve begun a thorough review of our ads policies and brand controls, and we will be making changes in the coming weeks to give brands more control over where their ads appear across, YouTube and the Google Display Network.”

We’ll keep you updated and let you know as soon as we’re happy that the issue has been resolved. In the meantime, if you have any questions on how this affects you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Cobb Digital team.