Verizon and AT&T Are Pulling Ads from Google and YouTube

Posted by at 6:11 am on March 23, 2017

AT&T and Verizon are withdrawing much of their advertising from Google amid a growing backlash against Google’s ad-placement software.

The telecom firms are worried Google’s automated systems could be placing their ads next to extremist content and on websites that promote hate speech.

“We are deeply concerned that our ads may have appeared alongside YouTube content promoting terrorism and hate,” AT&T said in a statement. “Until Google can ensure this won’t happen again, we are removing our ads from Google’s non-search platforms.”

In a statement, Verizon said it took “immediate action to suspend this type of ad placement” after it learned that its ads were appearing on “non-sanctioned websites.”

While both firms do not appear to have pulled ads from Google search results, many top tier Internet sites used Google’s ad network. AT&T and Verizon are among the first U.S. businesses to withdraw their marketing after a similar outcry in Europe prompted Google to adjust its advertising policies this week. The Guardian, a British newspaper, pulled its advertising from Google and YouTube this month amid complaints that its ads were appearing next to videos of white nationalists and Islamist extremists.

Google says they will work harder to take down ads when they appear next to hateful content. The company also promised to give advertisers better control over where their ads appear — such as better blacklisting tools to aid  an advertiser in controlling where they don’t want their ads to appear.

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