Evidence has yet to prove that the boycott has caused anywhere near the initial forecasted losses for Google. But publishers and Google rivals continue to use the boycott to press their own advantage. Here’s a primer for those wondering just what the big deal is.
Three months since the initial bombshell dropped, agency sources say most U.S. advertisers are returning to YouTube. Ad spend on YouTube has remained stable, according to numbers crunched by ad-tracking firms Pathmatics and MediaRadar. They say that’s in part because some of Google’s efforts to mollify advertisers have been effective. But agencies are also quick to highlight their own initiatives, including partnerships with third-party measurement companies.
The opacity around Google’s standards and practices, as reflected in their inconsistent enforcement, creates uncertainty at the heart of one of the internet’s most popular services. Until Google truly fixes the problem, the internet—and one of its core business models—will suffer.
Inconsistencies behind the company’s ability to police advertising on controversial content are coming to light.
Adweek commissioned Survata to run an online poll over the weekend of daily YouTube viewers to gauge their beliefs on the subject. There were 502 respondents, many of whom shared that they regularly see offensive clips as well as ads over the videos.
Here’s the results of their six-question survey.
Google has taken a beating from U.K. advertisers this week for not fully throttling ad misplacement across YouTube and its display ad network. A slew of brands, including the British government and Channel 4, along with agency Havas UK, pulled Google spend. Some multinational brands, like McDonald’s, have since followed suit.
There is a lot of showmanship surrounding YouTube’s recent ad “scandal” since brands want to take power back from Google and agencies want to show their brands that they take brand safety seriously.
But underneath the facade of moral outrage, agencies recognize that creating a ruckus can be good for PR and negotiating leverage.
An opportunity lies in every crisis, as the oft-used saying goes, and the modern world of advertising technology is no exception. With YouTube’s ongoing troubles over advertisers like AT&T, Verizon and Johnson & Johnson pulling their ads from the platform because of its sometimes racist, sexist, homophobic and extremist videos, some digital players offering solutions are reaping rewards.
As more and more brands find their ads popping up next to toxic content like fake news sites or offensive YouTube videos, JPMorgan has limited its display ads to about 5,000 websites it has preapproved, said Kristin Lemkau, the bank’s chief marketing officer. Surprisingly, the company is seeing little change in the cost of impressions or the visibility of its ads on the internet, she said. An impression is generally counted each time an ad is shown.