Google to overhaul ad policies

Google has has vowed to overhaul its advertising policies in response to a growing boycott of the company’s platforms – most noticably YouTube – from various brands and advertisers.

Last week Advanced-Television reported that the UK government, Channel 4 and The Guardian had pulled their ads from YouTube after concerns that they were appearing alongside unsuitable material, such as videos from supporters of terrorist groups. Marks & Spencer and McDonald’s have since joined the boycott.

In a blogpost published on March 20th, Philipp Schindler, Google’s chief business officer, wrote: “We have strict policies that define where Google ads should appear, and in the vast majority of cases, our policies and tools work as intended. But at times we don’t get it right. Recently, we had a number of cases where brands’ ads appeared on content that was not aligned with their values. For this, we deeply apologise.”

Schindler has outlined a three-tier overhaul of Google’s advertising policies, both on YouTube and on the company’s wider ad products.

First, Google itself is going to tighten its policies around what can live on its platforms. “Starting today, we’re taking a tougher stance on hateful, offensive and derogatory content,” Schindler says. The company is also ensuring that fake creators – those who impersonate other channels – can’t host advertising. Schindler also says YouTube is “taking a hard look” at existing community guidelines to see if any content is allowed on the platform that shouldn’t be.

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