Not looking too good for Google in the UK right now—the search engine giant has its work cut out. Following the company’s refusal to accept responsivity for content. According to The Independent, banks have joined other multinational companies in the UK to pull ads from Google over hate preachers.
The companies are said to be embittered over their ads appearing side-by-sides videos being posted by extremists like the Islamic State, ISIS on YouTube. Three of UK’s biggest banks including HSBC, Lloyds and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) expressed fears that some of their budgets for ads are being used to fund banned hate preachers, extremists, terrorist organizations and racists among others.
The bank’s decision is coming on the heels of other blue chip companies that have taken similar steps to pull ads from Google’s streaming website, YouTube. Other companies that have that have expressed their displeasure over Google’s nonchalant attitude towards the videos include, motor giant Audi, McDonald’s, L’Oreal, the BBC, The Guardian, Channel 4, and a couple of government agencies. Their action does not only end with ads on YouTube, but affects Google search as well.
This development could significantly affect Google’s dominance of online ads as more companies are on the verge of taking similar step to express their displeasure. The Independent reports that Sky, Barclays and Vodafone are believed to be making plans to withdraw their ads as well.
Unless Google changes its policy to please these heavyweights, its dominance is about to face its biggest tests in recent times. Urgent steps need to be taken by Google to win back the loyalty of the companies if it wants it doesn’t want to find itself in a situation where its profit will be highly affected.
According to investigation carried out by The Times, loads of multinational companies have had their ads shown alongside YouTube videos posted by extremists. A case in point is a video posted by a former leader of the Klu Klux Klan, David Duke.
Other hate preachers have also been receiving payouts from Google, and the companies feel they have been directly or indirectly funding such groups. Ads funded by tax payers have also been appearing alongside hate videos; and this continues to anger a lot of people, organizations and government departments.
Google’s refusal to accept responsibility for content being posted on its platform is a big issue. The company insists it cannot be categorized as a media organization, which makes it difficult to be regulated same way media companies are being controlled.
Speaking to Business Insider on why it is important for Google alongside Facebook should admit they are media organizations, Sir Martin Sorrell, head of global ad agency WPP said:
“We have always said Google, Facebook and others are media companies and have the same responsibilities as any other media company,” Mr Sorrell said, per The Independent.
“They cannot masquerade as technology companies, particularly when they place advertisements.”
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