YouTube is again engulfed in a brand-safety crisis after a number of major advertisers froze their spending on the Google-owned platform after an investigation revealed their spots were running against videos featuring children undressing and other situations that had drawn comments from pedophiles.
The UK The Times is reporting brands including adidas, Deutsche Bank, Mars, HP, Diageo, Cadbury and Lidl have all pulled advertising following the revelations.
The pre-roll ads had appeared before videos showing young girls in a state of undress, doing the splits and rolling around in bed and included inappropriate and sexually-skewed comments posted by viewers.
In response to the report, YouTube said in a statement, “There shouldn’t be any ads running on this content, and we are working urgently to fix this.”
The boycott follows on from a massive global advertiser backlash in early 2017 after ads were discovered showing – and financially supporting – racist, homophobic and hate sites.
YouTube’s parent Google has worked hard to ensure advertiser safety, however, it’s clear it is still a struggle for the tech behemoth.
In the past week, YouTube said it has cancelled more than 50 channels and removed thousands of videos under its kid-safe guidelines.
In a blog post last week, YouTube’s VP of product management Johanna Wright said the platform was taking to “protect families on YouTube and YouTube Kid”.
Wright wrote: “Across the board we have scaled up resources to ensure that thousands of people are working around the clock to monitor, review and make the right decisions across our ads and content policies.
“These latest enforcement changes will take shape over the weeks and months ahead as we work to tackle this evolving challenge. We’re wholly committed to addressing these issues and will continue to invest the engineering and human resources needed to get it right.”