Friday 24 November 2017

Major agency calls off YouTube ad boycott

Mr Cullen said that the YouTube campaigns would be restricted to music-related Vevo channels and homepage placements without re-targeting possibilities
Mr Cullen said that the YouTube campaigns would be restricted to music-related Vevo channels and homepage placements without re-targeting possibilities
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

One of Ireland's largest advertising agencies has provisionally called off its advertising boycott of YouTube.

Core Media - which has clients that include Heineken, AIB and the National Lottery - said that it had decided to "recommence some very controlled campaign activity" on Google's video channel.

The company, which has 300 employees and purchased €225m of media advertising in Ireland last year, had suspended its ad campaigns on YouTube over fears that ads might appear alongside extremist YouTube video content.

However, the company is now placing campaigns again with YouTube on a limited basis.

"This applies to all of our clients as opposed to individual brands," said Justin Cullen, chief digital and data officer for Core Media. "We have had a number of campaigns activated over the last few days in these controlled areas of YouTube."

Mr Cullen said that the YouTube campaigns would be restricted to music-related Vevo channels and homepage placements without re-targeting possibilities.

He said that his firm had been seeking assurances from Google over the "brand safety" of companies that risk their ads appearing next to homophobic or hate-speech content.

"We have seen a commitment from Google to deliver a better experience for advertisers that reduces potential compromise," he said.

The move comes as market analysts estimate up to €750m in lost revenue to Google because of 250 global brands pulling their ads over the extremist content controversy.

The boycott started in the UK in March when companies such as Marks & Spencer, McDonald's and Tesco withdrew ad campaigns from the video channel over revenue going to extremist video creators. Major US brands such as AT&T, Verizon and Johnson & Johnson followed suit in the boycott. However, the companies have continued to advertise with Google's broader search and adwords services.

The controversy resulted in multiple apologies from senior Google executives.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Promoted Links

Also in Business