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Guardian Pulls Ads From Google After They Showed Up Next To Extremist Content

  • Guardian, Friday, March 17, 2017 8:28 AM
A huge concern for programmatic media tactics, brand safety, and Google's YouTube: The Guardian newspaper said it pulled all its online advertising from Google and YouTube after it discovered that its ads were being placed next to extremist material, the paper reported. "Ads for the Guardian’s membership scheme are understood to have been placed alongside a range of extremist material after an agency acting on the media group’s behalf used Google’s AdX ad exchange. David Pemsel, the Guardian’s chief executive, wrote to Google to say that it was 'completely unacceptable' for its advertising to be misused in this way. He said the Guardian would be withdrawing its advertising until Google can 'provide' guarantees that this ad misplacement via Google and YouTube will not happen in the future," the paper reported. The extremist content included YouTube videos of American white nationalists, a hate preacher banned in the U.K., and a controversial Islamist preacher. The use of programmatic media was attributed to the snafu. 

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This week, the U.K.'s Department for Culture, Media and Sport held a private meeting with news publishers and technology platforms to discuss the issue of fake news and the programmatic environment which supports it. "The Guardian’s problem is understood to have arisen through the use of AdX, Google’s DoubleClick Ad Exchange Service, which uses programmatic trading," the paper reported. "In his letter to Matt Brittin, Google’s European president, Pemsel referred to the fact the Guardian’s membership scheme was partly launched to diversify revenues away from an ad market increasingly dominated by technology groups. Google, with YouTube and its DoubleClick ad service, as well as Facebook account for close to 85% of digital ad spend. 'The decision by the Guardian to blacklist YouTube will have financial implications for the Guardian in terms of the recruitment of members to fund our journalism,' wrote Pemsel."

Read the whole story at Guardian »

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