On Friday (March 17), Google announced plans to increase the amount of control companies have over their online ads, specifically though that appear on YouTube.
The decision comes after some of Google’s top U.K. clients withdrew their spots after their ads were run before extremist videos on YouTube, The Wall Street Journal reported.
According to the report, tensions between Google and advertisers have heated up recently due in part to ads from the British government and several private companies such as L’Oréal SA and British grocery chain J Sainsbury PLC showing alongside videos that support terrorist groups.
The advertisers pulled their spending not only from Google as a result, but also from the Google Display Network, which is made up of more than 2 million websites that work with Google to display ads.
Havas SA, a French ad company that is also the world’s sixth largest ad agency, announced the suspension of all advertising on YouTube and the Google Display Network as a result of the scandal. This means all of its U.K. clients will no longer be advertising with Google, which includes major brands such as Domino’s Pizza Inc. and British mobile operator O2.
Havas SA said it reached this decision because it couldn’t be certain that the “environment is safe, regulated to the degree necessary and additive to their brands’ objectives.” The company told The Wall Street Journal that its British unit’s policy was “a temporary move made by the local team” but that it has not altered its use of Google globally.
In a blog post, Google said it has “heard from our advertisers and agencies loud and clear that we can provide simpler, more robust ways to stop their ads from showing against controversial content.” The company added that it is reviewing its policies and “will be making changes in the coming weeks to give brands more control over where their ads appear across YouTube and the Google Display Network.”