The Drum Awards for Marketing - Entry Deadline

-d -h -min -sec

Technology Google Brand Safety

Google responds to advertisers exodus with beefed up ad policies, enforcement & controls


By John Glenday | Reporter

March 21, 2017 | 3 min read

In recent days Google has announced plans to introduce a suite of new tools and measures designed to restore confidence in its services following a weekend of crisis in which growing numbers of advertisers voted with their feet.

To staunch the flow Google understands that saying sorry is not enough and is now promising increased transparency for advertisers, a hiring spree to bolster its own internal resources and improved AI to help it monitor content uploaded to YouTube.

To steady the ship Google is proposing to beef up its approach in three key areas; its ad policies, its enforcement of those ad policies and new controls for advertisers.

In practice this will see a more aggressive stance adopted against removing hateful, offensive and derogatory content as well as a tightening of safeguards to ensure adverts only show up against legitimate members of the YouTube Partner Program.

In a blog post mea culpa Google’s chief business officer Phillip Schindler wrote: “We’ll offer advertisers and agencies more transparency and visibility on where their ads are running, and in the coming months we’ll expand availability of video-level reporting to all advertisers.

“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. In cases where advertisers find their ads were served where they shouldn’t have been, we plan to offer a new escalation path to make it easier for them to raise issues. In addition, we’ll soon be able to resolve these cases in less than a few hours.”

Over the ‘coming days and months’ Google will also change the default setting for ads so that they only display on content that passes a higher safety bar and will simplify the management of exclusions by making it easier for advertisers to blacklist specific sites and channels from their AdWords for Video and Google Display network campaigns.

Additional controls will also allow advertisers to choose where they wish ads to appear (and not appear).

In recent days HSBC, Lloyds, RBS and M&S have all halted YouTube advertising amidst growing concerns at a lack of control over where they end up.

Technology Google Brand Safety

More from Technology

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +