Verizon, AT&T Pull Ads From Google, YouTube After Ads Run Next To Offensive Videos

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Days after Google began apologizing to advertisers that stopped running YouTube ads after learning their brands were being featured alongside offensive and hateful videos, Verizon and AT&T say they are also pulling the plug on ads with the tech giant.

Reuters reports that Verizon and AT&T suspended advertising on YouTube and other non-search related Google sites after raising concerns that their promotions may have run along with YouTube videos featuring hate speech, gore, and other offensive content.

Verizon and AT&T joined a growing list of advertisers including Marks & Spencer, HSBC, the BBC, and McDonald’s that have pulled their content from Google’s YouTube and other sites.

AT&T tells Reuters that it removed the ads from non-search inventory on Google because its “ads may have appeared alongside YouTube content promoting terrorism and hate.”

Verizon says that it also suspended all digital content not related to search, but that it was “working with all of our digital advertising partners to understand the weak links so we can prevent this from happening in the future,” Reuters reports.

Mondelez — the company behind brands like Cadbury, Chips Ahoy!, Nabisco, Oreo, Ritz, Toblerone, and Triscuit — tells Reuters that it is looking into the advertising situation at Google. However, the company says it has not seen evidence that its ads played alongside inappropriate content, and that it is “in constant discussion with both Google and YouTube and will be monitoring the issue closely.”

Problems for Google began over the weekend when advertisers in the UK began pulling ad content and other firms, including Havas — which handles promotions for Hyundai Kia and Domino’s — paused ads after finding spots aired alongside questionable videos.

Google apologized to advertisers on Tuesday, noting that it had expedited an ongoing comprehensive review of its advertiser policies and controls in order to avoid similar fiascos in the future.

“I’ve spoken personally to a number of advertisers,” Google EMEA President Matt Brittin said at an Advertising Week Europe event in London Tuesday. “Those that I have spoken to, we have been talking about a handful of impressions, and pennies not pounds of spend, but however small or big the issue, it is an important issue that we address.”