US healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson is the latest major advertiser to pull its ad spends from Google following ongoing concern by brands their ads are being shown on extremist YouTube hate sites.
As reported on B&T yesterday, UK brands began pulling their ads seven days ago, with some 250 British companies now part of the boycott. Yesterday, it spread to the US with major advertisers AT&T and Verizon, car rental company Enterprise and pharmaceutical giant GSK all pulling multi-million campaigns.
Today, Johnson & Johnson said it to would pull all its ad spends as it wanted to ensure that its ads did not appear on channels that promote “offensive content”.
The spreading boycott confronts Google, owner of YouTube, is set to cost the tech giant hundreds of millions of dollars.
However, some have suggested the ban is not just about extremist content, but an attempt by brands to bring Google down a peg or two.
Yesterday, B&T published an article that suggested “the boycott smacks of ‘opportunism’ and a chance to gleefully bash the biggest player in the online ad industry”.
“Some executives suggested advertisers and agencies are hopeful Google’s pain over the issue will continue so they can use it as leverage in their negotiations with the online ad giant. Others said the boycott shows just how little many people understand about the way online advertising works,” the report noted.