Google apologizes for ads appearing near extremist content

Google apologizes for ads appearing near extremist content
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Google’s European chief, Matthew Brittin, apologized on Monday after advertisements from major companies appeared next to extremist videos on YouTube.

The company’s European president also said that he would review Google’s policies and strengthen enforcement on content that violates the company’s terms of service.


"I would like to apologise to our partners and advertisers who might have been affected by their ads appearing on controversial content," Brittin said at the Advertising Week Europe conference, according to the BBC.

The Financial Times previously found that ads from major organizations were appearing next to content from supporters of extremist groups like rape apologists, anti-Semites and hate preachers.

Ads that appear next to the videos were netting the groups roughly $7 for every 1,000 clicks, meaning that companies may have unknowingly contributing to the extremist groups.

Marks & Spencer, a multinational retailer, pulled advertising from the platform over the controversy. Earlier in the week firms like McDonald's, HSBC, Lloyds, the BBC, Channel 4 and the Guardian removed their ads from YouTube.

Google had previously issued an apology over the extremist content on Friday in a blog post.

“While we have a wide variety of tools to give advertisers and agencies control over where their ads appear, such as topic exclusions and site category exclusions, we can do a better job of addressing the small number of inappropriately monetized videos and content,” Google wrote, noting that they had “begun a thorough review of our ads policies and brand controls.”