Brands pull away from YouTube in Vietnam following government advice

Vinamilk has confirmed that it has removed its ads from YouTube

Major brands, such as Vinamilk, Vietnam Airways and Mead Johnson Nutrition Vietnam have pulled advertising from YouTube, according to reports.

Vietnamese websites, such as VN Express, said that the brands were following a government investigation that found videos on the website to be ‘illegal’.

The issue follows shortly after YouTube found major brands in the UK and US moving away from spend on the platform after it emerged it was allowing ads from them to appear alongside content promoting terrorism.

According to the Vietnamese government, 17 YouTube videos contained slanderous content and “distorted historical facts about Vietnam that could stir public unrest”. The videos contained or had associated adverts, which means the government is now looking to impose penalties on YouTube for breaking advertising regulations.

Vietnamese government rules enforce any online platforms from outside Vietnam to supply names, addresses and business details of clients first but, according to VN Express, YouTube has yet to do this. With a lot of YouTube ads being bought programmatically, such assurances are likely to be difficult.

However, a YouTube spokesperson said the company does have a policy around government policy and works with local issues where possible.

"We have clear policies for removal requests from governments around the world. We rely on governments to notify us of content that they believe is illegal through official processes, and where appropriate, will restrict it after a thorough review. All of these requests are tracked and included in our Transparency Report."

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