Google expands safeguards for advertisers

Google said the YouTube team was looking at changing its existing guidelines on what content should be allowed on the platform, and giving more visibility to advertisers and agencies so they could see where their adverts were appearing.

"But at times we don't get it right", wrote Philipp Schindler, Google's chief business officer, in a blog post.

Schindler said Google would also make its advertising system "safer" for brands by giving them more control.

Google has announced that it is introducing new tools to tackle extremist content and overhauling its policies in a move to end a mass boycott of advertisers.

It said it was aiming to block any content that attacked people based on their race, religion, sexual orientation or gender.

Google's United Kingdom managing director Ronan Harris said on 17 March that "In a very small percentage of cases, ads appear against content that violates our monetisation policies".

The fact that that Marks & Spencer has joined the government and a clutch of other organisations in withdrawing their ads from Google's platforms means the search giant is facing a crisis of confidence in its ability to police its service.

To overcome this problem, Google vowed to hire more staff to fasten the process of eliminating offensive and hateful contents from the adverts.

"Google's stated intent and direction are very welcome - however, advertisers will want to see concrete evidence that their brands can not appear against inappropriate content", said Phil Smith, director general of ISBA, the advertising trade group with members stretching from Centrica to BT and Heineken. The announcement affects Google's policies on advertising and hate speech.

Google Europe boss Matt Brittin yesterday apologised for the debacle and said the tech giant "needs to do more". The Times' investigation found that ads from big companies were appearing next to content from former KKK leader David Duke, among others, TechCrunch reports.

Google has pledged to police its websites better by hiring new staff and overhauling its policies after United Kingdom firms suspended advertising because it appeared on extremist videos. We know that this is unacceptable to the advertisers and agencies who put their trust in us.

The move follows complaints by United Kingdom advertisers, including Marks and Spencer, McDonald's, L'Oreal, Audi, the BBC, and the Guardian, who all pulled their ads from Google in the UK. These, Schindler says, will be employing the "latest advancements in AI and machine learning to increase our capacity to review questionable content for advertising".

It will also use automated technology to remove videos as well as giving advertisers more control of where their adverts are placed.

  • Essie Rivera