The UK Government Just Suspended Advertising On YouTube

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LONDON-An executive for Alphabet Inc.'s Google apologized Monday for commercials that appeared before extremist videos on its YouTube site and said it would simplify tools that allow advertisers to control where their ads appear.

Roth pointed out the spend freeze, from the United Kingdom government and advertisers like the McDonald's, Audi, and The Guardian, was on Google display ads, which appear on YouTube and across Google's ad network not search advertising, where IPG puts most of its spend with Google.

Last week the Guardian withdrew online advertising from Google and YouTube after it emerged that its ads were being inadvertently placed next to extremist material via Google's AdX ad exchange.

YouTube, Google and Twitter have all recently been lambasted by the United Kingdom government over how poorly they are handling problems within their communities; and if YouTube doesn't do something about this instead of filtering out their least offensive creators, they will probably run out of advertisers much more quickly.

Matt Brittin, Head of the company for EMEA, said: "We are sorry to anybody that's been affected".

Google was subsequently summoned by British lawmakers to explain itself (technically, the company is in charge of approving users that intend to make money from advertising and ensure they comply with the site's policies) in front of the Cabinet Office. The FT reports that Google controls 60% of the digital ads market and the United Kingdom government has joined major brands in freezing its YouTube spending, which is reported to be around £60m per year.

"We're not confident that this approach will be sufficient to remedy advertiser concerns", a statement from the group said. So Mr Brittin started by saying sorry: "We apologise when anything like that happens, we don't want it to happen and we take responsibility". French advertising company Havas SA said it was removing certain clients' spots from the site after it failed to get assurances that they wouldn't appear alongside offensive videos.

Marks & Spencer, a multinational retailer, pulled advertising from the platform over the controversy.

Google controls around 35 per cent of all online advertising, but its market dominance could be seriously compromised if other major advertisers desert the platform.

On Friday, the United Kingdom government warned Google it was responsible for ensuring its ads were placed against appropriate content.

Ronan Harris, Google's United Kingdom managing director, said in the blog post that Google removed almost 2 billion offensive ads from its platforms past year and also blacklisted 100,000 publishers from the company's ad sense program.

"We are committed to working with publishers, advertisers and agencies to address these issues and earn their trust every day so that they can use our services both successfully and safely".

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