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United Kingdom govt halts YouTube advertising over extremism funding concerns

United Kingdom govt halts YouTube advertising over extremism funding concerns

A top Google executive on Monday apologised after United Kingdom company and government adverts appeared alongside extremist content on its Internet platforms.

Google already provides controls that allow advertisers to choose where their ads go, said Matt Brittin, Google's president for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Google has not said yet what it will do to allay advertisers' concerns, though it has promised to review ad placement procedures, try to tweak its own programs to avoid mismatches between ads and content, and reach out to companies about the best ways to make use of ad technology.

Three of the UK's biggest banks have pulled their adverts from Google's platform after their campaigns appeared alongside extremist YouTube videos.

"We take any breach of our digital advertising standards very seriously and have put advertising with Google on hold at this time". Department store John Lewis became the latest to suspend advertising via Google, saying it was awaiting "reassurances on the actions they are taking".

In another blow to the company, the Guardian has also pulled all its advertising from both Google and YouTube after it said a promotion for a membership scheme had been inadvertently placed next to extremist material. Along with these brands, Vodafone, Sky, and Barclays might also follow in stride. The second part of the plan aims to improve the controls that advertisers have to implement brand safety issues and the final promise states that Google will work faster in enforcing existing rules regarding takedowns of content.

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When pressed to explain what concrete steps the company would take to flag and remove questionable content, However, Brittin remained evasive. "We are accelerating that review", Brittan said.

"We have always said Google, Facebook and others are media companies and have the same responsibilities as any other media company", Mr Sorrell said, per The Independent.

He explained IPG has its own monitoring tools to identify where online ads are placed and said the debate in the United Kingdom over the past few weeks highlighted the increasing need for the industry to take more responsibility over areas such as transparency and ad viewability.

"They can not masquerade as technology companies, particularly when they place advertisements", said Martin Sorrell, the founder and head of WPP.

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