Google is apologizing to some very big companies that stopped running YouTube ads after learning that their brands were being featured alongside offensive and hateful videos.
Reuters reports that brands including Marks & Spencer, HSBC, the BBC, and McDonald’s pulled ad content from Google sites in the UK after promotions appeared alongside YouTube videos featuring hate speech, gore, and other offensive content.
“I would like to apologize to our partners and advertisers who might have been affected by their ads appearing on controversial content,” Google EMEA President Matt Brittin said at an Advertising Week Europe event in London. as reported by Reuters.
Brittin added that Google has expedited an ongoing comprehensive review of its advertiser policies and controls in order to avoid similar fiascos in the future.
Despite this, CNBC reports that several ad firms, including Havas — which handles promotions for Hyundai Kia and Domino’s — have paused ads in the U.K. while they discuss the issues with Google.
Meanwhile, firm WPP tells Reuters that it is talking to Google, along with companies like Facebook and Snapchat, about ways in which the companies can ensure that the image of brands advertising on their platforms aren’t adversely affected.
Publicis, a French ad firm, tells Reuters that it believes Google has fallen short of meeting advertising standards.
CNBC reports that Brittin said at Monday’s conference that is working with the affected companies.
“I’ve spoken personally to a number of advertisers,” Brittin said. “Those that I have spoken to, we have been talking about a handful of impressions, and pennies not pounds of spend, but however small or big the issue, it is an important issue that we address.”