Tag Archives: google

Ad-tech companies calling new Chrome browser a dictator

Google’s Chrome browser will automatically block certain ad formats, and that’s causing ad tech companies to scramble. The startup Parsec says it is completely shifting its business because of Google. Google says its actions are based on the recommendations of the Coalition For Better Ads, a cross-industry group focused on stemming the rise of ad-blocking Yet many in the digital ad industry aren’t clear on when these changes will take hold, what they need to do to prepare and who’s driving them.

Parsec, a three-year old startup, had found its niche. The company designed ads that people have to move out of the way with their finger order to keep reading a story on their mobile phone. The unique approach meant users would be forced to interact with an ad, instead of just letting it slip past as they read a story or click through a slideshow. The rough idea was that more people would be forced to stop and notice these ads, and ideally, they’d spend more time with them than the average banner.

Now, Parsec CEO Marc Guldimann says Google is blowing that business up.

Starting next year, when Google rolls out the latest version of its Chrome browser, those ads will be automatically blocked. It’s not just them. Also blocked are ads that automatically start blaring sound, and others like these that Google says make the experience of browsing the web worse. So Parsec is scrambling to ditch the old ad unit entirely – which means getting publishers, advertisers, and other business partners to run an entirely different, Chrome-approved, ad unit.

Here are the old Parsec ads:

Guldimann acknowledges that the company was always going to have to move away from ads that force interaction. But his complaint is that Google is using its massive power in the digital ad ecosystem, to play judge, jury, and executioner of ad-tech companies. He’s not clear, he says, on how Google made the decision it did or when and how it’ll be implemented.

“Right now, they are a benevolent dictator,” he said. “Let’s not joke ourselves. They own the browser. We’re playing in their world. They set the rules.”

Parsec isn’t alone in facing a sudden shift from a tech platform. Publishers too – especially those that had loaded up their sites with lots of videos that play automatically with sound- have to work out what the new Chrome restrictions will mean. Yet as the industry grapples with how to adapt to the coming changes next year, there’s loads of confusion over who is in charge, how the annoying ads will be identified and what the timeframe is for compliance. It all points to an uncomfortable position for Google, which is both a massive ad sales entity and the provider of the web’s most popular browser in the U.S.

Google says its just following the lead of the Coalition for Better Ads, a consortium of ad industry trade groups and big tech and media companies formed in September of last year.

The Coalition says it has conducted proprietary research on over 100 types of digital ads graded by 25,000 consumer respondents in the U.S. and Europe. That’s how it came up with dozen ad types that consumers find ‘annoying’ and that publishers should avoid. The list includes video ads that play automatically with sound and ads the cover more than a third of a person’s screen, for example.

It also includes “Full-Screen Scrollover ads,” or ads that “force a user to scroll through an ad that appears on top of content.” In other words, exactly the kind of ads Parsec bet the company on.

Google says with the coming Chrome update it’s just providing the hammer that the industry can use to apply these recommendations in one fell swoop. ” Thanks to the Better Ads Standards, the ad industry has 12 ad experiences that we know annoy Internet users and encourage people to opt out of ads entirely,” said a Google spokesperson.” Chrome has a long history of protecting users from annoying or harmful experiences. For example, like other browsers, Chrome blocks pop-ups in new tabs and shows warnings before malware pages. “

‘Uncomfortable’

Given the rise in popularity of ad blockers, it’s clear that digital advertising needs to clean up its act. Many ad insiders, though, aren’t wild about Google deciding what ads are ok and which are not.

In fact, several executives told Business Insider they are of the belief that Google is the driving force behind the Coalition, and that it is funding and dictating the effort. They speak as if the Coalition is Google.

Both Google and the Coalition say this is not the case.

Parsec is moving forward with new ads that the company hopes combine consumer interruption with consumer respect. Guldimann estimates the company is about halfway through its transition to Chrome friendly ads.

The new Parsec ads:

read more here:

https://www.businessinsider.nl/google-chrome-ad-blocking-forces-ad-tech-cos-to-abandon-business-2017-10/?international=true&r=US

Are Home Service Ads the death of home-based businesses on Google?

Google is expanding their Home Service Ads across more and more cities in the US, and some home-based business owners are worried. Columnist Joy Hawkins explains how this move impacts these businesses and what they can do to combat a loss of local search visibility.

If you are a local business that provides home services in the United States, you should be bracing yourself for what will happen when Home Service Ads roll out in your industry and market. The changes are vast and make a huge difference in who ranks in the local results on Google. When they first started expanding them last year in San Diego, it wiped out 89 percent of the listings in the local results.

There is no warning
Unlike other features, Google isn’t preannouncing where they plan on rolling these out. Currently, there isn’t even an updated help article. Google’s signup page is also inaccurate, as it only lists cities in California, even though they rolled out to Philadelphia, Atlanta, Phoenix and Seattle weeks ago.

Google has been extremely quiet about the entire thing, and although there has been no announcement, we’re also seeing the ads in Chicago and Jersey City.

Home-based businesses are removed from the local results

This update has a massive impact on home-based businesses, since it completely removes them from the local results — because they typically don’t have a publicly available storefront address. They have the option of paying to be included in the AdWords Home Service Ad pack, but if they don’t, they get shoved down in this list below all the paid ads (so basically invisible). As Mike Blumenthal puts it, this is where home-based businesses go to die.

I am also starting to see Google do this in markets where there are no Home Service Ads. Suddenly, all the listings with hidden addresses just with no explanation, according to posts on a discussion board where local SEOs gather.

There is a way out

If you’re a home-based business and are losing sleep wondering when this will roll out to your industry and city, it’s time to start planning ahead. One solution that these service-area businesses have been using to survive this is to turn their home into a storefront.

If you’re reading that and think it sounds like nonsense — so did I, at first. After all, how on earth is a home a storefront? When I think of a storefront, I think of a Best Buy or a Walmart.

According to Google’s guidelines, here is what you would need to do to be eligible to show your address (aka be a “storefront”) on your Google My Business listing:

– The location must be staffed (your staff, not someone else’s) during office hours.
– The location must have permanent, onsite signage that is viewable from the street.

According to one of the locksmiths on this thread in the Google My Business advertiser community:

“When I contacted Google and explained my situation, they told me it was fine to display my address as long as there was signage outside which there now is, I also am now fully equipped to cut keys out of my location and uploaded pictures of my workshop and signage. Between my son or wife or myself there is always someone here. I don’t see how any guidelines are being broken as I serve people out both my location and their location. Just yesterday I cut mailbox keys for a client that stopped by here along with a few other random customers who have stopped by here in recent days to get safety deposit boxes opened and miscellaneous projects. I am here, I am real and staffed.”
Another locksmith addressed the issue of staffing at a home location by clarifying:

“I also explained [to Google] that I do need to leave the location for emergency calls. In those cases I have two way outdoor cameras so I can still greet clients while on the road and let them know how long their wait will be in those rare cases. For the most part, my wife is at home all the time to greet customers in house and tend to basic locksmithing needs. The GMB rep said this was fine and that these arrangements do comply with their terms.”
I double-checked with Google myself, and they confirmed both those cases are fine.

As a joke, some of us thought it would be funny to ask Google if the business below qualifies as a storefront after they taped their business card to their door.

Google said it would not since the sign is not permanent and isn’t visible from Street View. Similarly, a listing in an apartment building would probably get removed since it would be almost impossible for them to have an external sign.

It seems Google’s end goal here isn’t to screw over home-based businesses but to get a better handle on all the spam that exists in these industries. By forcing businesses to be public about where they are located, it makes it much harder for lead generation companies to create listings for “businesses” that don’t actually exist.

read more here:

http://searchengineland.com/home-service-ads-death-home-based-businesses-google-282910?utm_campaign=socialflow&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social

Cutting the Cord? That’s So Five Years Ago, Google Says

Young adults these days don’t make a conscious decision about cutting the cord, asserted Serge Kassardjian, global head of media apps business development for Google Play. That was a discussion five years ago. Now, people decide what content they want and decide the best way to get it.

Kassardjian spoke on a New York Advertising Week panel today called “Streaming Is the New Black,” which examined how the business of streaming video is changing. While discussions remains stuck in the “cut the cord” days, he said millennials are all about getting what they want to see in an efficient way.

That’s not the only way the industry is stuck in older ways of thinking. “There’s a new OTT service that comes out every week,” Kassardjian said, and “there’s a new OTT service that closes down the next week.” Throughout it all there’s a certain sameness about these services: They offer similar content and bill in similar ways. Kassardjian would like to see a lot more diversity and experimentation. Why does each service bill by the month? How about daily subscriptions for sports or special events? And why are subscription fees the same for each user? Perhaps services could charge less for subscribers that already have a related service. Rather than finding it confusing, he says subscribers react well to differentiated pricing.

“That’s where the opportunity is and that’s where you can differential from the bundle,” Kassardjian says.

For the OTT services on the market, search and discoverability have become major issues. Just getting noticed is a hurdle when the field is so crowded. “There’s a lot of noise,” Kassardjian said.

One growth area is in live video. While many think of live as best suited for news and sports, live has emerged as a strong area for dramas, as well. Series like Game of Thrones spawn an industry in post-shows and other discussions, so anyone who doesn’t watch the show live isn’t getting the same experience.

“People are being trained about how to react to live,” Kassardjian noted.

Also on the panel was Albert Lai, CTO of Brightcove, who spoke about changing OTT monetization strategies. Many services are trying to work out the ideal business model, he said. Going with subscriptions seems like a straightforward option, but then they do the math and realize they’ll need ad support, as well. But serving ads requires an ad sales teams and a collection of paying advertisers, all things that take time to build up.

“Advertising is still a healthy option to a subset of those OTT offerings,” Lai said.

However, OTT services need to be careful how they implement ads. Today’s viewers—especially young viewers—won’t stand for an experience that’s worse than broadcast. To illustrate that, Lai told how his own three-year-old daughter was put off by a brief buffer delay while watching a program on a tablet. After waiting a few seconds for an ad to load, she was too annoyed to continue and handed the tablet back to Lai. “Broken,” she said.

read more here:

http://www.streamingmedia.com/Articles/ReadArticle.aspx?ArticleID=120803&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+StreamingMediaMagazine-FeaturedArticles+%28StreamingMedia.com%3A+Featured+Articles%29

Google and Facebook Exposed to Disruption via GDPR

Substantial parts of Google and Facebook’s business will be disrupted by the EU’s new GDPR data protection rules that are due to apply in May 2018, according to Dr Johnny Ryan PageFair, a company that specialises in helping publishers monetise their inventory in the face of ad-blocking.

Under the new rules, both Google and Facebook will be unable to use the personal data they hold for advertising purposes without user permission. Ryan says this presents an “acute challenge” as they cannot use a service-wide opt-in for everything, in spite of the fact that many commentators have suggested otherwise. Nor will they be able to deny access to their services to users who refuse to opt-in to tracking.

When a person uses Google or Facebook.com, they willingly discloses personal data. Both companies have the right to process these data to provide their services when one asks them to. However, the application of the GDPR will prevent them from using these personal data for any further purpose unless the user permits.

However, it depends what the data will be used for. As Ryan notes, “it will be necessary to ask for consent, or present an opt-out choice, at different times, and for different things. This creates varying levels of risk.”

To explain the varying degrees of exposure to risk, PageFair have devised “The GDPR Scale”:

Google has a Large Number of Products Exposed to GDPR

PageFair’s estimate of Google, when applied to the GDPR scale, shows a significant range of products at four on the scale. However, some part of that set of products can be modified, which would lower their score from four to one, which would put them out of the scope of the regulation.

read more here:

https://videoadnews.com/2017/08/30/google-and-facebook-are-significantly-exposed-to-disruption-via-gdpr/

Ad fraud on exchanges prompts Google to offer advertiser refunds

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Google is providing refunds to some advertisers that used DoubleClick Bid Manager in conjunction with ads that were placed on sites with fraudulent or invalid traffic:

In the past few weeks, Google has informed hundreds of marketers and ad agency partners about the issue with invalid traffic, known in the industry as “ad fraud.” The ads were bought using the company’s DoubleClick Bid Manager.

Google’s refunds amount to only a fraction of the total ad spending served to invalid traffic, which has left some advertising executives unsatisfied, the people familiar with the situation said. Google has offered to repay its “platform fee,” which ad buyers said typically ranges from about 7% to 10% of the total ad buy.
DoubleClick represents that it offers “industry-leading fraud protection.” While that may be accurate, traffic fraud is a growing problem on programmatic exchanges.

A recent report from The&Partnership, m/SIX and Adloox estimated that invalid traffic and fraud would waste $16.4 billion in ad budgets this year globally. An earlier report from the Association of National Advertisers estimated that fraud would cost advertisers $7.2 billion in 2016.

The WSJ report characterized the fraud behind Google’s refund as “larger than usual.” Google did not release any data on the extent of the fraud or the dollar amount of refunds offered.

The article also reports that Google is smartly seeking to put in place what amounts to a money-back guarantee from exchanges if fraud is found. The notion is that those unwilling to participate would be identified and agencies and brands could avoid those networks:

The company said it is entering discussions with the 100-plus exchanges, ad networks and publishers DoubleClick Bid Manager plugs into and asking them to display to ad buyers whether they are willing to refund the entire media spend if ad-fraud instances occur. Buyers could then opt to filter out the sources of inventory that don’t have such a policy.
Google says the instance of ongoing traffic fraud is small relative to the volume of impressions and spending. However, any fraud creates a kind of stigma that can scare some advertisers away or cause them to be less aggressive in digital than they might otherwise be.

read more here:

http://marketingland.com/larger-usual-ad-fraud-exchanges-prompts-google-offer-advertiser-refunds-222670?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=feed-main

Does Snapchat See A Google-Like Search Opportunity?

by Laurie Sullivan

Apparently search has become an underlying focus for Snapchat. Cofounder and CEO Evan Spiegel, in his opening remarks during the Q2 2017 earnings call, mentioned the feature several times. When asked by an analyst to elaborate on search within Snapchat, Spiegel said it’s still early days with search on the platform as people learn they can search for stories and not just friends. He also noted that there are great opportunities to explore.

“The pre-type experience that we’ve [added] when you tap into search is a really important part of the learning process and I think we’re getting better at showing really interesting content depending on who you are,” Spiegel said.
Snapchat introduced Universal Search in January to simplify navigation within the app. The feature amounts to a search bar to help brands build an audience and quickly allow users to find the best content and conversations related to their specific preferences.

The company also has begun to focus on connecting and measuring the effectiveness of its online advertising with offline sales. It created an offline sales measurement systems with the acquisition of Placed in June. With Placed, the company’s goal is to measure activities such as store visits and offline purchases which prove that digital ads drive sales for advertisers.

As search becomes a visual medium with trillions of photos, it has become more important for social platforms like Snapchat and Pinterest to improve their respective search tools.
The ability to search for content within Snapchat could dramatically improve options for brands. Google reportedly will prove that theory with a tool it calls Stamp.

Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal reported on Google’s development of an AMP-powered Snapchat-like “discovery tool” called Stamp, but we have yet to hear directly from the Mountain View, California, company as to whether the report will become a reality.

One of the main features, per reports, would be that it ties into Google’s search engine, giving publishers a built-in audience for Stamp stories. The Stamp versions of stories would serve in Google search results, or within other Google products.

Jason Beckerman, CEO and cofounder at Unified, which focuses on social advertising, says the only way for Google to increase market share from Facebook is to add social features that include video and images to the feed, much more than what YouTube can offer.

Beckerman, musing, points to Snapchat’s video ads served between social snapshots from users. “The ability to buy inventory within the feed is very attractive to brands,” he said.

read more here:

https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/305665/does-snapchat-see-a-google-like-search-opportunity.html?edition=104655

Google’s new adblocker. Here’s what’s really going on.

GOOGLE, a data mining and extraction company that sells personal information to advertisers, has hit upon a neat idea to consolidate its already-dominant business: block competitors from appearing on its platforms.

The company announced that it would establish an ad blocker for the Chrome web browser, which has become the most popular in America, employed by nearly half of the nation’s web users. The ad blocker — which Google is calling a “filter” — would roll out next year, and would be the default setting for Chrome when fully functional. In other words, the normal user sparking up their Chrome browser simply wouldn’t see the ads blocked by the system.

What ads would get blocked? The ones not sold by Google, for the most part.

The Chrome ad blocker would stop ads that provide a “frustrating experience,” according to Google’s blog post announcing the change. The ads blocked would match the standards produced by the Coalition for Better Ads, an ostensibly third-party group. For sure, the ads that would get blocked are intrusive: auto-players with sound, countdown ads that make you wait 10 seconds to get to the site, large “sticky” ads that remain constant even when you scroll down the page.

But who’s part of the Coalition for Better Ads? Google, for one, as well as Facebook. Those two companies accounted for 99 percent of all digital ad revenue growth in the United States last year, and 77 percent of gross ad spending. As Mark Patterson of Fordham University explained, the Coalition for Better Ads is “a cartel orchestrated by Google.”

So this is a way for Google to crush its few remaining competitors by pre-installing an ad zapper that it controls to the most common web browser. That’s a great way for a monopoly to remain a monopoly.

There’s more to the story, however. The real goal for Google appears to be not just blocking ads sold by other digital suppliers besides Google, but to undermine third-party ad blockers, which stop Google ads along with everyone else’s.

According to the Financial Times, Google will allow publishers what it’s calling “Funding Choices.” The publisher could charge the consumer a set price per page view to use third-party sites that block all advertising. Google would do the tracking of how many pages users view, and then charge them. Users could then “white list” particular sites, allowing ads to be shown on them and removing the charge. If users decided to pay to block ads, Google would receive a portion of that payment, sharing it with the publisher.

Web users will quickly recognize their only options: pay to use the internet, or uninstall the ad blockers and surf the web for free. At least 11 percent of all web users, and perhaps as many as 26 percent of all desktop users, have third-party ad blockers on their devices, a number that will likely grow in the next few years. But it’s easy to see how Google’s policy would depress ad blocker usage — except for the case of Google’s ad blocker, which creates preferences for Google’s own ads.

Google has already been found to have paid off ad blockers to keep its own ads intact. But this new policy creates an internet landscape where Google ensures viewing of its own ads, to the relative disadvantage of competitors.

Senior Vice President of Google Sridhar Ramaswamy describes the concept as a way to support internet websites and users alike, by making online ads less annoying and helping to “maintain a sustainable web for everyone.” It’s hard to build a coalition in favor of annoying ads. And publishers would be guaranteed a revenue stream, either through charging consumers for an ad-free experience, or from the ads themselves. So the policy aligns the interests of virtually everyone on the web content side.

Improving Google’s bottom line and crushing anyone who tries to compete is just a nice side benefit.

read more here:

https://theintercept.com/2017/06/05/be-careful-celebrating-googles-new-ad-blocker-heres-whats-really-going-on/

Facebook’s plan to disrupt TV advertising may have hit a wall

The biggest players in tech want a crack at disrupting TV advertising. Amazon and Google are taking a more direct approach by paying to control some TV ad space. Facebook is looking to partner and moving more deliberately. That means Facebook is likely to face resistance from the ad industry, which could put it behind other players

Facebook wants to grab a big chunk of the $70 billion-plus US TV ad market.

The opportunity is clear. Even as the social network’s advertising business has exploded, driven by small and mid-sized companies, major brand advertisers – that is companies that sell soda and cereal and razor blades and beer – have historically spent the largest portions of their budgets on TV ads. Break in to TV advertising, and billions of dollars could flow to Facebook.

The challenge for the tech giant is breaking old habits and fending off resistance from suspicious media companies. Despite the ongoing decline in live TV viewing, large swaths of marketers’ budgets have remained stubbornly locked up in TV advertising. And for the most part, TV advertising is controlled by TV companies.

That leaves tech platforms like Facebook with a few options if they want to jam their way into the TV ad world. They can:

Buy the rights to programming, like Amazon’s NFL deal, which affords them the right to sell some ad time during live games.They can sell TV subscription services-essentially cable alternatives like YouTube TV and Hulu’s coming 50-channel offering. Being a pay TV provider also gives companies like YouTube and Hulu the ability to sell a certain amount of live commercial time each hour, just like cable companies such as Comcast and Charter. Or, they can try to convince TV companies to let them sell some of their ad space, or at least help TV companies sell ads using their digital ad software and data. This route is less expensive, but perhaps a lot tougher.
It’s the latter route that Facebook has chosen. The company aspires to help TV companies sell ads using their sophisticated digital ad tech and robust data. The focus is on ads that are delivered when people watch content on their TVs via apps, ranging from individual TV networks apps to services that aggregate content from multiple networks. People in the TV business refer to this as “OTT” or “over the top” viewing, where consumers get their TV via a device like a Roku or Chromecast, rather than through a set-top cable box.

Facebook is facing some resistance, however, and its OTT ad play is a work in progress. Meanwhile, rivals such as Amazon, Google and Hulu, a joint venture between Walt Disney Co., 21st Century Fox, Comcast’s NBCUniversal and Time Warner, will be well positioned to experiment with more sophisticated TV ad tactics later this year.

The stakes are high. The faster that one of these tech companies can establish that it is the one that can bring innovation to TV advertising, the more TV partners it is likely to land and more advertisers it will be able to work with.

An early foothold will theoretically make it a lot harder for other tech to gain real traction in the TV ad ecosystem.

Facebook is likely to face resistance from the TV business
Last November, Recode reported that Facebook had kicked off a small test with a handful of partners, including Roku, A+E Networks and the startup Tubi TV. Ad buyers say that while those test have continued, the amount of ad inventory available remains limited, and Facebook has moved at a deliberate pace.

Facebook has focused on “OTT ads,” or ads that appear as people stream TV on apps via connected TVs using devices like Rokus or Apple TVs. While a huge chunk of viewing on web-connected TVs is driven by non-ad supported content (Netflix, Amazon, HBO, etc.), the ad tech company Videology recently issued a report that found the number of ad campaigns including some amount of OTT ad inventory’ jumped sixfold over the past two years. For example, last summer NBCU saw big increases in people streaming the Olympics via connected TVs.

But it’s not clear just how aggressive Facebook is actually being when it comes to trying to land more TV partners for this initiative. “It’s been more noise than action,” said an ad buyer. “There is no real Facebook TV right now.”

read more here:
https://www.businessinsider.nl/facebook-wants-to-disrupt-tv-ads-just-like-google-hulu-and-amazon-2017-5/?international=true&r=US

YouTube’s Ad Boycott Becomes Google’s Biggest Headache

YouTube’s inability to keep big-brand ads off unsavory videos is threatening to transform a rising star in Google’s digital family into a problem child.

It’s not yet clear whether a recent ad boycott of YouTube will be short-lived or the start of a long-term shift away from the video service — one that could undercut Google’s growth and that of its corporate parent,Alphabet Inc.

Alphabet’s first-quarter results, released Thursday, provided few clues. Major advertisers didn’t start pulling their money from YouTube until the three-month period was nearly over.

The company’s earnings rose 29 percent to $5.4 billion while revenue climbed 22 percent to $24.8 billion. Shares surged nearly 5 percent, to $933, in Thursday’s extended trading.

CLOUD OVER YOUTUBE
But the fallout from the YouTube boycott is likely to be felt through the rest of this year. Skittish advertisers have curtailed their spending until they are convinced Google can prevent their brands from appearing next to extremist clips promoting hate and violence.

“There is no entity in the world that is more risk averse than a senior marketing person,” says Larry Chiagouris, a marketing professor at Pace University in New York. “They don’t want to go with a media choice that presents problems for a brand, and they don’t have to because they have many other choices.”

Google CEO Sundar Pichai told analysts during a Thursday review of the first quarter that the company has had “thousands and thousands” of conversations with advertisers as YouTube takes steps to protect their brands. “We are evolving overall to a better place,” Pichai said.

At another point, he assured analysts that YouTube is still experiencing “extraordinary” growth without providing specifics.

Even if YouTube continues to lose advertisers, it won’t leave a huge dent in Alphabet’s earnings. That’s because marketers are expected to keep feeding the company’s golden goose — Google’s dominant search engine. Ads appearing alongside the billions of search results Google churns out each day still generate most of Alphabet’s revenue even as it expands into other fields.

But ad spending has been accelerating at a rapid pace on YouTube over the past two years as brands sought to connect with its audience of more than 1 billion people. Now it looks like things might taper off.

TAKING THE GLOSS OFF
Before the boycott began, YouTube’s ad revenue after subtracting commissions was expected to rise 26 percent this year to $7 billion, based on estimates from the research firm eMarketer. Alphabet doesn’t disclose YouTube’s finances.

Advertisers began to flee YouTube last month, after The Times in London and other media outlets turned up evidence that their brands were appearing alongside clips promoting terrorism and racism.

The findings alerted advertisers that YouTube didn’t have adequate technology or staffing to shield brands from some of the appalling material that gets posted on a site that receives 400 hours of video per minute.

“This is an ostrich situation where the ostrich just pulled its head out of the sand,” says Harry Kargman, CEO of Kargo, which helps manage ad campaigns on mobile devices.

FLIGHT OF THE BRANDS
At one point, about 250 advertisers were boycotting YouTube. (Some also stepped back from a related system that Google operates to place commercials next to videos on outside websites.) The list included big-spending marketers such as PepsiCo, Wal-Mart Stores, Starbucks, AT&T, Verizon, Johnson & Johnson, and Volkswagen.

It’s unclear how many, if any, of those have returned to YouTube since Google promised to hire more human reviewers and upgrade its technology to keep ads away from repugnant videos.

Both Verizon and AT&T, two companies that are trying to expand their own digital ad networks to compete with Google, told The Associated Press that they are still boycotting YouTube. FX Networks confirmed that it isn’t advertising on YouTube either. Several other boycotting marketers contacted by AP didn’t respond.

read more here:
https://www.inc.com/associated-press/youtube-ad-boycott-google-alphabet-biggest-headache.html

Contextual Brand Safety: Now What?

On Feb. 9, The Times, one of oldest and most venerable newspapers in the world, ran a story titled “Big brands fund terror.” It dedicated an additional four-page spread to the subject of brands’ advertising funding inappropriate and illegal activities on YouTube. Brands were named.

Did clients overreact to the situation by pausing advertising on YouTube? When your brand, the cornerstone of your offering and most precious asset, is in danger of being called out in the mainstream press, it seems more than sensible to pause advertising on YouTube until you understand the risk. So, no, clients were right to be cautious. The risks of reputational damage far outweigh the risk of underdelivering on a campaign for most brands.

While most clients are carefully considering dipping their toe back into the water using enhanced tools to keep their brands safer, some clients will simply reason that even the smallest risk is not worth taking, and they will seek audience reach in safer places.

Google’s Response

Any response would rarely be deemed good enough when reacting to a crisis like this. Given that Google had to absorb the situation, respond at a global level and revert with tangible solutions, I think that it did a pretty good job.

However, the industry must keep up the pressure on solutions – this problem is far from over.

Did Google go far enough? Not by a long chalk. However one may rationalize the difficulty in managing the stupefying levels of uploads that Google processes every minute, it is still Google’s responsibility to keep advertisers safe on its platform. The industry expects Google to use its massive resources and technical acumen to tackle this problem. We may intellectualize that there is no such thing as 100% assurance on an uncurated social platform like YouTube, but brands expect a zero-tolerance approach to contextual brand safety.

Google and the other social media platforms should now let third-party measurement accompany ads onto their platforms to allow marketers to block ads from appearing with inappropriate content. Third-party technologies may not be perfect, particularly when it comes to video, but social media partners must realize that the industry will only be truly satisfied that we are doing what we can to detect and avoid inappropriate content if brand safety measurement is driven by objective, external verification companies. Surely if we open-source the challenge and work on a solution together, we will devise a better solution, faster – and with industry buy-in.

Other Uncurated Social Networks

The risk around contextual brand safety is not confined to GDN or YouTube. Any social network that allows users to upload uncurated social content has limited control of what appears on its platform. Some, like YouTube, may be deemed riskier because advertising can share the same screen as the inappropriate content, while others may be considered less harmful because the ads appear on the screen preceding or immediately following.

read more here:

https://adexchanger.com/data-driven-thinking/contextual-brand-safety-now/#more-112316