It’s been about a year since YouTube faced a serious backlash from brands because their ads were showing up next to extremist videos. YouTube has been promising companies and other advertisers that they were working hard to address the problem, and that running ads on their site was safe. CNN conducted research to see how well YouTube is doing, and it really isn’t impressive.
They found that ads from top brands as well as many government agencies are still showing up on channels that are dedicated to things like white nationalists, Nazi’s, and even North Korean propaganda.
CNN mentioned several of the big companies whose ads were impacted including Amazon, Cisco, Facebook, Hershey, Hilton, LinkedIn, Mozilla, Netflix, Nissan, and more. This is on top of several government agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Transportation, Customs and Boarder Protection, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
After a year of supposed work to stop this type of thing, one has to wonder about YouTube’s brand safety strategy. It seems that it would make more sense to remove all ads from this type of content in order to avoid all possibility of problems. Of course, quickly identifying the troubling content can be difficult in some cases.
As of now, at least one major brand, Nissan, has said they will be halting their advertising on YouTube until they can get a safer experience. It is likely that other brands will follow suit.