Google Website Will be Overhauled Soon after UK Ad Scandal

The world's largest advertising agency has pressured Google to apologise for inappropriate content

"For this, we deeply apologize", explained Google's Chief Business Officer Phillip Schindler, in a blog post Monday.

"We know advertisers don't want their ads next to content that doesn't align with their values".

The apology from Matt Brittin, president of Google's Europe, Middle East and Africa division, came after United Kingdom banks HSBC and RBS, along with major retailer Marks and Spencer (M&S), chose to suspend their adverts from appearing on platforms such as YouTube.

"Finally, we won't stop at taking down ads".

Google launched a review of the problem on Friday last week, apologized on Monday and said yesterday it had revamped its policies to give advertisers more control.

His solution involves a three-tier revamp of policies across YouTube and its various other platforms. As Bloomberg reports, Google is broadening its advertising policy on hate speech to cover content that targets vulnerable groups, including people harassed or demeaned due to their country of origin or socioeconomic status.

About 400 hours of content is uploaded to YouTube every minute, Brittin said, claiming that 98 per cent of "removals" happen within 24 hours and adding that it will be looking at its policies, controls and how those are enforced.

A safer default setting for advertisements so they show up against content which meets the content quality demands of publishers on its network.

"Google is responsible for ensuring the high standards applied to government advertising are adhered to and that adverts do not appear alongside inappropriate content", the United Kingdom government said in an e-mailed statement.

We'll be hiring significant numbers of people and developing new tools powered by our latest advancements in AI and machine learning to increase our capacity to review questionable content for advertising.

Google's attempt to stem the flow of anxious firms and agencies away from its platforms comes as a number of Irish advertisers look to join a British boycott that kicked off following a damning report of Google's policies in the Times of London.

"There are brands who have reached out to us and are talking to our teams about whether they are affected or concerned by this", said Brittin.

Havas Media Ireland represents companies such as Hyundai, Emirates and the FAI.

Several high profile companies, including Marks and Spencer, Audi, RBS and L'Oreal, have pulled online advertising from YouTube, which is owned by Google.

France's Havas, the world's sixth largest advertising and marketing company, pulled its United Kingdom clients' ads from Google and YouTube on Friday after failing to get assurances from Google that the ads wouldn't appear next to offensive material. Per M&S the move pauses activity across Google platforms while the brand safety and offensive content issue is worked out. The UK government and The Guardian had also pulled ads from the video site. Even multinational banks like HSBC, Royal bank of Scotland had stopped advertising with Google recently.


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