An advertising boycott against YouTube has spread to the US, where three of the country's biggest advertisers, AT&T, Verizon and Johnson & Johnson, have suspended ads on the video platform.
The move follows confirmation by one of Ireland's biggest ad agencies, Core Media, that it has "paused" all of its clients' ad campaigns on YouTube and Google Display Network.
Companies such as Marks & Spencer, McDonald's and Tesco have already withdrawn advertising from YouTube in the UK because of their ads being placed within extremist YouTube videos. Such videos include rape apologists, anti-Semitism and terrorist propaganda. Under Google's advertising system, creators of such videos get paid around €7 for every thousand clicks.
Core Media, which represents Heineken, AIB and the National Lottery among others, made its decision to suspend ad campaigns with YouTube and GDN over concerns that ads were appearing within videos that did not suit their clients' branding.
"Until we are confident that a solution to the brand safety challenge is in place, Core Media is pausing all ad campaigns on YouTube and GDN," said Alan Cox, chief executive of Core Media.
Another large Irish ad agency, Havas Media Ireland, said that it was consulting with clients such as Hyundai, Emirates and the FAI over whether or not to suspend ad campaigns on YouTube and Google. However, the boycott does not apply to Google search ads, where Google makes much of its advertising revenue.