More controversy over extremist content on Google as M&S “pauses activity”

M&S pauses activity

In the latest row over Tech giant Google, Marks and Spencer has said today that its “pausing activity” across Google platforms. The European head of Google, Matt Brittin has apologised for adverts being next to extremist material. He said “We are sorry to anybody that’s been affected.”

M&S said: “In order to ensure brand safety, we are pausing activity across Google platforms whilst the matter is worked through.”

Advertising giant Havas suspended advertising last week and the British government has also stopped advertising.

Google is facing backlash from the advertising industry and the government over its plans to stop ads being placed next to extremist material.

A huge list of big-name companies, advertising firms and government departments have either pulled their adverts from Google and its YouTube video site or are considering to do so.

The list of global brand names is growing:

  • Sky: “It is clearly unacceptable for ads to be appearing alongside inappropriate content and we are talking with Google to understand what they are doing to stop this.”
  • RBS: “We are not aware of any issue with our ads to date, but we take this issue extremely seriously and are suspending all advertising until they fix this.”
  • HSBC: “HSBC has strong procedures in place to ensure that our brand is not associated with nor advertises alongside inappropriate content.“We take any breach of our digital advertising standards very seriously and have put advertising with Google on hold at this time.”
  • McDonalds UK: “We are disappointed to learn that the safeguards we have in place to protect against our adverts appearing alongside unacceptable content, have fallen through.“We are now seeking reassurances from Google as to how they can improve its filters to ensure this does not happen in the future.“Whilst we have those discussions, all advertising through this channel has been removed with immediate effect.”
  • Sainsbury’s: “We have strict processes in place to prevent our adverts from appearing alongside inappropriate online content.“It is unacceptable that Google is allowing our ads to be placed alongside these videos on Youtube.“We have suspended all Sainsbury’s and Argos advertising on the site with immediate effect and are seeking urgent assurances from Google that this issue is being taken seriously and addressed.”
  • Audi: “As soon as we learned of this issue with Google advertising, we immediately paused all of our YouTube campaigns as a precaution.“We find it completely unacceptable for Audi to be seen in these contexts.”

 

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