A number of American giants, including AT&T, Verizon, Johnson & Johnson, and Enterprise, pulled adverts from YouTube and Google’s wider ad networks citing Google’s inability to guarantee that ads won’t appear alongside extremist content. The companies also brought in new complaints, ranging from a specific focus on YouTube to a broader criticism of Google’s ad platform. For example, AT&T claimed it was deeply concerned that its promotional messages may have appeared alongside video content that promotes terrorism and hates speech. The company joined the expanding boycott until Google can ensure this won’t happen again.
The movement against Google first began in the United Kingdom with such organizations as the BBC, the Guardian, and even the UK Government and still keeps growing – despite the efforts of the search giant to quell fears. A few days ago, Google Europe’s Chief Business Officer has promised to implement a three-pronged plan to improve its advertising network. He also brought his official apologies to the companies for placing their adverts on content that was “not aligned with their values”. Google promised to tighten up policies, ensure better controls to advertisers and use AI to review questionable content.
As you can see, promises didn’t help, and the number of companies boycotting Google’s ad networks keeps growing – so far, about 250 companies withdrew their advertisement from Google’s non-search services. Aside from YouTube, the boycott has expanded to Google’s other major advertising service AdSense. The latter works by placing brands’ adverts on third-party websites. However, the most important of Google’s revenue sources, AdWords, is still used by everyone, as it allows for advertising on Google itself, targeting specific search queries.