Several U.S. Brands Pull Google Ads Over Extremism Row: AT&T Stated That Their Ads Keep Appearing Beside Extremist YouTube Content
In a bizarre turn of events, several U.S. advertisers are pulling out millions of dollars from Google. AT&T, Verizon, Johnson & Johnson are also reportedly pulling out from YouTube.
That is despite the internet giant's promise to keep extremist content away from ads. Google recently pledged this week to filter offensive content from appearing in advertisements.
AT&T said that it is stopping all ad spending on Google except for a few search ads. That means AT&T's advertisements will not run on YouTube or from Google's two million sites.
AT&T also released a statement condemning Google's lack of action on the issue. The U.S. carrier said that their ads are appearing alongside extremist YouTube content.
Verizon's Sanette Chao also said that they are pulling out of Google. Chao handles marketing communications and branding for the U.S. based carrier.
Verizon suspended ad placement on Google due to several factors. According to Chao, "their ads were appearing on several non-sanctioned websites." She added that their company has just launched an internal investigation.
Several news agencies tried to reach Google for comments. The company declined to give a statement about the defection of advertisers. But they did announce that they are doing an extensive review of their ad policies.
Google also said that "we are raising the bar to safeguard our advertisers' brands." Previously, concerns about the company's ad placement started overseas. The British government and several U.K. based companies have aired the same issues in the past.
Despite Google's repeated reassurance, critics said that the company has not done enough. Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Wieser downgraded Alphabet's stock on Monday. The latter is a Google parent company.
He warned the U.K boycott could have worldwide repercussions for the company. More than 250 organizations have stopped their ads on Google. Toyota and McDonalds have also stopped advertising in YouTube according to The Times.