US telcos escalate YouTube advertising boycott

Google’s attempts to contain its YouTube advertiser crisis seem to be failing with AT&T and Verizon both pulling all their ads from the platform.

Recode published statements from both companies. “We are deeply concerned that our ads may have appeared alongside YouTube content promoting terrorism and hate,” said AT&T. “Until Google can ensure this won’t happen again, we are removing our ads from Google’s non-search platforms.”

“Once we were notified that our ads were appearing on non-sanctioned websites, we took immediate action to suspend this type of ad placement and launched an investigation,” said Verizon. “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.”

Car rental firm Enterprise has also joined the stampede and according to The Times, which had the scoop that initiated this crisis, GSK and Johnson & Johnson are among the latest to clutch their precious brands to the corporate bosom. All Recode could get out of Google was a reiteration of its previous blog, detailing some remedial measures.

Those remedial measures are clearly considered insufficient by many. Google attempted to put the responsibility on advertisers by giving them more tools, but some advertisers seem to think this is Google’s problem to solve if it wants to keep getting cash from them.

Maybe it should try AI. Twitter, which has all sorts of issues to resolve regarding the kind of stuff that goes on via the platform, is working with IBM Watson to identify abusive tweeters before they’ve even been reported by the patterns of their behaviour, according to Geekwire.

Google likes to think it’s a company of brainboxes and now is the time for some of those super-geeks to put their awesome intellects to practical use. Advertisers want more than tools – they want a super-duper algorithm that identifies and avoids horridness in all its forms. Until Google comes up with such a thing it’s likely to experience some serious cashflow problems.

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