Google Advertisers Already Have Tools To Block Ads From Extremist Content

Several advertising executives with hands-on experience creating and scheduling campaigns say every company in the advertising supply chain has some accountability for where their ads appear on the Google Display Network and YouTube.

Solely blaming Google for serving ads alongside extremist content must stop.

Jonathan Kagan, senior director of search and biddable media at MARC USA Results:Digital, and Mario Schiappacasse, head of display at Jellyfish U.S., in separate conversations said media agencies need to take responsibility for deploying available safeguards offered by DoubleClick and YouTube.

The Association of National Advertisers released a statement Friday urging members to do whatever it takes to correct these concerns of devaluing brand value, trust and equity. These assets entrusted with marketers to build, nurture, grow and strengthen, and anything that "disrupts, disturbs or threatens" the relationship should be "avoided at all costs."



Many of the controls and settings to prevent a brand's ads from appearing alongside extremist content are already in place.

The DoubleClick platform currently offers technology that reviews Web sites and the content of each page before serving the advertisement. There are several default categories built into the technology — and advertisers can also choose to include their own list.

Among advertisers, there is a lack of awareness that they can protect their brand as well as the education to know how to do this, Kagan says. "Advertisers can pick and choose specific YouTube channels, he said. "You're going to lose a little by using some of the controls, but you can still overlay targeting and demographic data, and protect the brand."

Kagan and Schiappacasse say it takes education on how to use the platforms; sensitive categories like adult, derogatory or violent content or any other content that can be considered offensive also can be blocked.

A range of companies have reportedly pulled their ads from running across Google properties, such as AT&T, Dominos, Johnson & Johnson, and Verizon, along with O2, EDE and Royal Mail.

Some say Facebook Live and other live-streaming media services are likely to feel the same sting of brand ads posted alongside disturbing content, for example, that highlights shooting and murders. The social site does have a "blacklist" and a suite of controls in place, similar to Google, but it's not a self-serve network.

Schiappacasse said Facebook and others that offer live streaming are pushing the boundaries of media, allowing people to express their views immediately without an auditing process.

"Companies will need to consider the consequence of immediacy and how the tech platforms should evolve to accommodate the change," he said.


4 comments about "Google Advertisers Already Have Tools To Block Ads From Extremist Content".
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  1. Virginia Suhr from Lobo & Petrocine, March 25, 2017 at 11:13 a.m.

    It takes extra work, but you can easily go into the display network and YouTube and block content.  It certainly is not perfect, but I have gone in and block specific YouTube channels that weren't appropriate for my client as well as put in other safeguards.

  2. cara marcano from reporte hispano, March 26, 2017 at 8:58 p.m.

    Clients and agencies get what they pay for in this context. Google does not pay a fair wage to Publishers for content. Why would anyone accept Google adsense or place advertising in digital with Google. Also how can Google be objective in this conversation when they own YouTube - is the YouTube buying programmatic network separate say from teh Google Adsense netowrk and what motivation does Google have to support qualty journalism. None.  People who care - who value quality media brands and what they  can do for a brand and for sales- should plan and buy media not garbage. Programmatic 'networks' or vaguely defined technologies should plan garbage or pocket all the advertisers money for themselvs and yell yeah I am an efficient digital media buyer adn be allowed to get away with this.  How smart does a CEO, CMO, any marketer or advertising agency have to be to understand that when you swim with bottom feeders you get low-level media for yoru brand and clients which lowers the value of your brand. This is not the function of media planning and buying. So of course the folks who accept Google ads are not going to be quality journalism brands. This is common sense. No quality media brand is going to take Google ads.  Media is not a cost-cutting endeavor of the CFO -it is a marketing investment in branding and sales. Programmatic is a mistake. Its history is that of low-quality, lowest-cost 'digital' of the leftover garbage. Using it and these networks as the digital media planning strategy bc it is cheap and easy is the problem. Dont be so cheap and lazy. If you are going to be so cheap and lazy why buy any media at all really. Either buy the good stuff and pay for it or dont.
    High-quality direct-from-publisher digital and working with agencies who respect media brands run by journlists is the way to drive sales and build brands.

  3. michael Kaushansky from Havas Helia, March 27, 2017 at 8:01 a.m.

    There are MRC accredited tools, available for FREE within Google's DCM, that verify Viewability, Brand Safety, Bot Fraud and In-Audience Reach. The fact that agencies or buyers did not utilize these tools is whole other issue - they should have! 

  4. cara marcano from reporte hispano replied, March 27, 2017 at 3:08 p.m.

    michael - why doesn't havas buy any premium publisher digital...  what is agency-owned media - when it comes to digital. Why are you defending Google...

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