Google’s had a rough week! Advertisers are boycotting it in droves and the tech behemoth has been forced to run a string of apologies and reassurances to brands.
The kerfuffle exploded in the UK last week when media group The Guardian put an immediate stop on all its advertising after it was revealed it was being shown next to extremist material on the Google-owned YouTube.
Some 250 advertisers in the UK have now pulled all their spends out of Google after their ads had been shown – and financially supported – the likes of white supremacists, homophobes and Islamic extremists, including ISIS. Many brands also inferred Google wasn’t doing enough to protect advertisers.
The UK branch of media buyer Havas reacted by pulling all of its clients’ advertising.
Yesterday, B&T published commentary by Google’s chief business officer, Philipp Schindlerm, who said: “We have strict policies that define where Google ads should appear, and in the vast majority of cases, our policies and tools work as intended. But at times we don’t get it right.”
Sure, the company’s in damage control and why wouldn’t it be after a report found it was set to snare $US72.69 billion of online ad dollars in 2017.
However, Business Insider in the UK has an interesting take on things. It’s media reporter was reporting at the current Advertising Week Europe conference in London and asked a number of marketers in attendance their views on the Google ban.
As it reported: “Business Insider spoke to more than a dozen ad executives who 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.”
One anonymous marketer at the conference, whose ads had reportedly fallen foul of a nasty YouTube video, said he “took issue with Google’s stance to monetise first, moderate later”.
Another said: “Nobody wants to take on the bully in the playground, but once one person does, everyone can pile in … It’s like Manchester United. Who likes Manchester United and doesn’t support them? They used to smash everyone for years and now people are enjoying their bad streak.”
While another suggested it might simply be a case of the English and tall poppy syndrome. “It’s a very British thing: We like underdogs, we don’t like it when people succeed. When people get on top, we want to kick them down,” he said.