Google introduces a Site Exclusions feature to avoid another YouTube boycott…

Earlier this year, hundreds of established brands and businesses pulled their YouTube advertising content after their ads were being placed next to sensitive/offensive videos. One example was The Guardian newspaper, who removed all of their Google and YouTube ads after discovering they were placed next to extremist/terrorism content on YouTube. Though the placing of ads was random and accidental, YouTube were held responsible for the disaster.

Word of the incident spread to other advertising brands and YouTube found themselves without M&S, the BBC, Tesco, Lloyds Bank and many more well-known brands. Reporters labelled it as ‘The YouTube Ad Boycott’. YouTube have since apologised for the ad placements and vowed to make public commitments to improve ad placing on the site. But, Google knew more had to be done to stop this happening once again.

In response to this, Google have introduced a new ‘Site Exclusions’ feature for their advertising. With this feature, advertisers can prevent their ads showing near sensitive social issues, conflict, profanity and sexual content. In basic terms, you control what content you do not want to be placed next to.

So how will it work?

The new Site Exclusions feature will be available for advertisers using the Display Network, such as a video ad on YouTube. Coming in 2018, you will have options in campaign settings under ‘Sensitive Content’, within which you decide what you do and don’t want to be placed near.

One example could be deselecting the sensitive content option of ‘Military and International Conflict’, to stop a recurrence of The Guardian’s YouTube placing.

site exclusions

Some advertisers, including Toyota, Nestle and The Guardian, have since returned to advertising on YouTube. Whereas others, such as Tesco, are steering clear of video ads on YouTube. The feature in still in it’s Beta mode but will be coming into use in 2018. Google recommend advertisers should make adjustments manually with their ad placement until this feature is revealed.

The new feature is definitely a step in the right direction to ensure the correct placing of brand’s adverts, but will it be enough to convince all advertisers to return?