Thomson Reuters halts programmatic ads in wake of brands 'funding' terrorism report

Thomson Reuters joins Jaguar and pulls ad spend in wake of 'brands funding terrorism' report

Thomson Reuters is halting some programmatic ads in wake of an investigation which revealed household names were inadvertently funding extremism. The news comes as other household names like Jaguar are doing the same.

​"Thomson Reuters has taken immediate action to investigate and resolve this matter, and has suspended elements of the programmatic digital advertising activities within the business unit responsible while a further review takes place," a spokesperson said in a statement.

The media giant asserted it was "deeply concerned" that a recent digital campaign had appeared on inappropriate websites following a report from the Times, which found that hundreds of firms were popping up on websites and YouTube channels promoting extremist ideology.

Among the branded content appearing on Isis-supporting websites and neo-Nazi YouTube channels, was an ad for Thomson Reuters which was placed alongside a video from Nazi group Combat 18 without the brand's knowledge.

"The company has a rigid set of policies and procedures to avoid this happening and is grateful for this case being brought to our attention," added a spokesperson for the multinational business.

After it was also implicated in the investigation, Jaguar Land Rover ceased all digital advertising in the UK while Mercedez Benz has asked its agencies to "review" and "if necessary update" its safe media lists.

Other brands named in the report included Halifax and the Victoria and Albert Museum, which has since identified and pulled the programmatic ads in question along with Dropox. Sandals. Marie Curie has also withdrawn a number of online campaigns while it investigates the problem.

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Rebecca Stewart

Rebecca Stewart is a reporter at The Drum. Based in London, she writes news, analysis and features around brand marketing and digital innovation. She has interviewed key figures from the likes of Airbnb, Amnesty International, Unilever, Facebook and Spotify, as well as covering international events like Ad Week Europe, Dmexco and Ciclope.

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