Amid reports that paedophiles are targeting children on YouTube videos, multiple companies have pulled advertisements from the platform.
The issue, as first reported by Wired, noted several incidents of videos that featured young children in their underwear or otherwise exposed, and timestamps made in the comments of the exact moments in which they occurred.
In addition, provocative or suggestive comments towards minors are also made in many of the videos, with some of the children targeted appearing as young as five.
Many of these videos are monetised and with growing concerns of the association with this conduct, brands have begun pulling or scaling back their advertisements on the Google video platform.
After being contacted directly by Wired, many brands released statements, with a Grammarly spokesperson saying: “We’re absolutely horrified and have reached out to YouTube to rectify this immediately.
“We have a strict policy against advertising alongside harmful or offensive content.
“We would never knowingly associate ourselves with channels like this”.
A spokesperson for Epic Games, the publisher of gaming phenomenon, has announced that the company has paused all pre-roll advertising on YouTube.
“Through our advertising agency, we have reached out to YouTube to determine actions they’ll take to eliminate this type of content from their service”.
AT&T and Hasbro have also pulled their advertisements, with an AT&T spokesperson telling CNBC: “Until Google can protect our brand from offensive content of any kind, we are removing all advertising from YouTube”.
A statement from Hasbro said: “Hasbro is pausing all advertising on YouTube, and has reached out to Google/YouTube to understand what actions they are taking to address this issue and prevent such content from appearing on their platform in the future”.
Nestle has also pulled advertising, while wellness company Peloton has said that it is in conversations with YouTube.
A memo obtained by AdWeek has reportedly been sent to advertisers, advising on changes YouTube is implementing to combat the issue.