YouTube advertising becoming dangerous

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

3 April 2017

Brands risk being associated with questionable content

Advertisers caught in the web of offensive online content are hoping Google fixes the problem. Pronto. Otherwise, those advertisers’ spots could introduce a terrorist video as part of their YouTube advertising plan.

Recently, AT&T and Johnson & Johnson threatened to pull their campaigns. Unilever, which owns several brands like Axe and Lipton, found objectionable content after three of its spots ran.

“What happens when social media goes wild because your ad introduces a video of a beheading? We live in an age where unspeakable crimes are broadcast live online, including on Facebook.”

 

YouTube advertisingThe issue is this. YouTube, owned by Google, tries to prevent videos with racist, terrorist and pornographic content from getting to the site. However, those videos still squeak through. Brands then panic when their ads introduce such content within their YouTube advertising program. They are then associated with that content, especially if the glitch spreads across social media.

But brands need YouTube advertising. More than a billion hours of content are watched on YouTube each day. The best way to reach Millennials is advertising on YouTube because fewer of them watch TV than previous generations. They watch YouTube (and Netflix).

The Catch 22 of YouTube advertising

Brands need YouTube. But YouTube advertising can be dangerous. What happens when social media goes wild because your ad introduces a video of a beheading? We live in an age where unspeakable crimes are broadcast live online, including on Facebook.

New Google software promises to alleviate some of those fears about the Wild West that is the internet. According to The New York Times, new Google software examines context of those videos. And Google allows advertisers to ban certain channels from their advertising loop.

For those that don’t know, most online advertising is pretty random. Your ads are part of a larger loop simply shows your ad when your turn comes up. Advertisers risk their brands with so little control. Most viewers are unaware of how the system works.

Unilever and others, who considered pulling their ads, are reconsidering for two reasons. One, they need that access to audiences. And, two, there is trust in the Google brand.

Let’s say Yahoo owns YouTube. The trust factor would be low. The Google brand saves the day.

See more posts in the following related categories: Google UNILEVER YouTube advertising

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