Google to Advertisers: ‘Don’t Worry; Extremists Just Earn Pennies’

Google to Advertisers: 'Don't Worry; Extremists Just Earn Pennies'

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Out of touch, or just a horrible excuse? Google Europe boss says not to worry, as extremists only make pennies on YouTube ads, as companies flee the web giant.

Last week, The Times published a damning investigative article. Google’s DoubleClick AdExchange failed to stop prominent web advertisers from appearing on extremist videos. Companies like L’Oreal, Sainsbury’s, Nissan, and more appeared on racist, hate-filled videos. In one example, viewers could watch a Royal Air Force ad on an anti-Semitic video.

Following the news, major companies quickly announced that they were pulling out from Google and YouTube. According to The Times, over 250 companies have suspended advertising deals with Google. Yet, is the web giant out of touch with companies’ anger?

At a London advertising conference, Matt Brittin, head of Google Europe, apologized for the incidents.

“I want to start by saying sorry to the brands affected by this. I take the issue very seriously and I apologise in the instances where that may have happened.”

Yet, he refused to say whether the company had started actively seeking out extremist content.

Yvette Cooper, Labour MP and home affairs select committee chair, said Google has failed “to do enough” to stamp out hateful content.

At the advertising conference, Brittin’s following comment sparked even more outrage.

“I’ve spoken to … some brands that are affected. In general I’ve found that it has been a handful of impressions and pennies not pounds.”

Brittin’s comments contradict independent marketing experts. According to them, extremists have made around £250,000 (slightly over $312,000) from advertising revenue. The ads help fund people who post the videos on YouTube.

On average, for every 1,000 views, uploaders receive £6 ($7.49). In one instance, Egyptian cleric Wagdi Ghoneim’s channel has raised over £63,500 (around $79,275) after 31 million views. The UK banned him from entering the country over concerns that his comments may “provoke others to commit terrorist acts.” BBC, Channel 4, and Boots ads have appeared on his videos.

The Times posted a short list of major companies that have pulled their advertising money from Google.

  • Tesco
  • Volkswagen
  • Toyota
  • Marks & Spencer
  • HSBC
  • Lloyds
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • McDonald’s
  • L’Oréal
  • Audi
  • BBC
  • O2
  • The Royal Mail
  • Domino’s Pizza
  • Sainsbury’s
  • Argos
  • Neutrogena
  • UK government

Without giving specifics, Matt Brittin promised that the company will do more to combat extremist videos.

“You’ll have more detail from us very soon on that. We’re working to get it right and if we need some improvement we will do.”

Yvette Cooper blasted Brittin’s comments. Cooper says the company hasn’t taken responsibility for the errors, nor has it done enough to combat the videos.

“They still don’t seem to have woken up to the seriousness and toxicity of some of the videos they are still hosting and their own responsibility to deal with that. And they still haven’t agreed to use any of their much-feted search engines to identify illegal content such as National Action videos and remove them.

“It isn’t enough for Google to respond only when their advertising revenues take a hit. They are one of the biggest and most powerful companies on the planet. They can afford to do far more, far faster to deal with illegal and hate-filled content online.”

9 Responses

      • PiratesWinLOL

        it is not okay to ban or otherwise try to silence anyone expressing their opinions. gay, jewish, white nationalist, black nationalist, crazy nationalist, whatever.. if you don’t agree with them, beat them with better arguments on the free market place of ideas. what happend to voltaires “i don’t agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”? the control-left certainly don’t care about that anymore.

        • Anonymous

          “it is not okay to ban or otherwise try to silence anyone expressing their opinions. gay, jewish, white nationalist, black nationalist, crazy nationalist, whatever.. if you don’t agree with them, beat them with better arguments”

          OK, I couldn’t possibly disagree more with your pathetic piracy views 🙂 — but you’re spot on about free speech!

          Which is way more important than piracy.

  1. PiratesWinLOL

    so called “extremism” is whatever the control-left don’t like.. they are getting more and more fascistic and anti-free speech every day.

  2. DavidB

    I’m sure a lot of people would be delighted if they got £6 (about $7) per thousand views on YouTube, but I think the original source specified £6 per thousand times an ad is clicked, which is not the same thing at all. The Times (UK) said ‘Typically, YouTube users receive about £6 for every 1,000 clicks an advert attracts’. There is no way of telling how much a video uploader is paid just from the view count on the video, but an average of around $0.8 per 1,000 views (i.e. less than a tenth of a cent per view) is sometimes quoted.

    • Anonymous

      “an average of around $0.8 per 1,000 views (i.e. less than a tenth of a cent per view) is sometimes quoted”

      That’s correct — with emphasis on ‘average:’ Payments can be considerably less because Google is very, very good at finding excuses for not monetizing your content (YouTube’s gay ban is a good example).

  3. Sean

    YouTube has been like this for years and these companies are just noticing this now?