The Cold Shoulder: Assessing the Growing Google Advertising Boycott

For years, Google has ruled the internet and it’s hard to imagine life without it. But as recent evidence shows, it clearly has its flaws. There has been a growing boycott by YouTube advertisers in response to their ads appearing on content that does not align with their values and messages.

There is a growing concern among companies that Google is incapable of properly moderating where ads show up on the internet. This uproar has led a number of companies to remove their ads from YouTube. Well-known brands – McDonalds being a prime example – have threatened to temporarily suspend their advertising campaigns. Google has spoken openly about this problem and has promised to make massive changes to its advertising policies, both on YouTube and across their other platforms.


So, how do they plan to fix their YouTube problem? Google is going to ensure that all ads only show up next to appropriate content. Also, they are working to tighten their safeguards to make sure ads don’t appear on offensive and hateful content. In addition, they have promised to remove ads from content that has no relevance or is derogatory in some way. There is also the issue of fake creators on YouTube that impersonate other brands, so Google is ensuring illegitimate channels can’t host advertising. Essentially, Google is taking a hard look at what can appear on its platforms.

One of the biggest problems that brands have faced, leading up to the growing boycott, is that their money is inadvertently being spent on the wrong content. So, Google is introducing new tools for marketers to more easily manage their ads on the web. They are going to launch safer default settings for brands, so that their ads show on content that meets a higher level of brands safety and so advertises can exclude specific sites. Google aim to fine tune where brands ads appear and provide more visibility on where advertisers campaigns are running.

There is no definitive solution to Google’s issues with ads. YouTube has 400 hours of video uploaded every minute, making it virtually impossible for Google to continuously oversee every single ad. As brands reconsider how to effectively run campaigns, Google will have to establish better trust with its users. Changing its ad policies and ensuring brand safety is an ongoing commitment for Google. In the near future, we’ll be able to see how effective Google’s new tools will be and if they can pull their advertisers back.


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