Zombie Go Boom Loses Battle With YouTube Over 'Brand Safe' Ad Policies

Siding with Google, a federal judge has dismissed Zombie Go Boom's lawsuit against over a change in YouTube's ad policies.

Zombie Go Boom owners James Sweet and Chuck Mere sued YouTube last July, after the video-sharing site rolled out new policies aimed at making the service safe for brands. Sweet and Mere alleged that they were earning between $300 and $500 a day in ad revenue until late March last year, when YouTube rolled out new guides aimed at preventing ads from appearing on potentially offensive videos.

After March 27, a date Zombie Go Boom refers to as "Adpocalypse," its ad revenue fell to between $20 and $40 a day, Sweet and Mere alleged. They argued that YouTube "intentionally caused Adpocalypse to occur, in an effort to appease its advertising partners, at the expense of its content providers."

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Sweet and Mere raised a host of claims in their complaint, including that Google broke its contract with them and that it violated California's unfair competition law.

U.S. District Court Judge Edward Chen in the Northern District of California dismissed the lawsuit this week, ruling that the terms of the YouTube Partner Program gave the company the right to pull ads. Specifically, the terms included a provision stating: "YouTube is not obligated to display any advertisements alongside your videos and may determine the type and format of ads available on the YouTube Service.”

Google has defeated other lawsuits by companies that alleged their businesses were harmed by a change in policy. Last year, a judge dismissed a lawsuit against Google by e-ventures Worldwide, which claimed its business suffered after its sites were removed from the search results. In that matter, the ruled that Google has a free speech right to decide which search results to display.

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