Unilever, Ford and Yamaha Motors agree to Vietnamese ban on YouTube and Facebook advertising

Unilever, Ford and Yamaha Motor are some of the brands that have agreed to halt advertising on social media websites including YouTube and Facebook, after the government held a meeting to put pressure on brands.

The Vietnamese government has taken issue with some of the content on social media sites that it deems to be ‘illegal’, because it ignores rules forbidding anti-government content.

Reuters reported that a meeting was held in Hanoi, Vietnam on Thursday with brands and the information and communications minister, that aimed to put pressure on businesses to pull advertising until the websites blocked the content.

The government first put out the call earlier this month, with brands such as Vinamilk, Vietnam Airways and Mead Johnson Nutrition Vietnam quickly pulling ad spend from the platform.

However, Reuters said that Information and Communication Minister Truong Minh Tuan wasn’t satisfied, stating: "Today we call on all Vietnamese firms that are advertising not to abet them to take advertising money from firms to use against the Vietnamese government," Tuan told companies at a meeting in Hanoi.

"We also call on all internet users to raise their voice to Google and Facebook to prevent toxic, fake content violating Vietnamese law in the online environment."

Speaking on the matter last week, a Google spokesperson, said: "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."