MediaPost – CEO Susan Wojcicki, speaking at the NewFronts, directly addressed the backlash by top brands after some advertisers appeared next to racist content and pulled out. MediaRadar, an ad intelligence platform, wanted to see if the long list of brands that said they would boycott actually did.
The data shows a 5% drop in the number of advertisers in April on Google Preferred YouTube channels. Google Preferred is YouTube’s program for advertising on its top-tier videos. The number of brands advertising on YouTube grew monthly in January, February and March, but April was the first month to show a decline in advertising buys.
The boycott over brand-safety concerns forced the Google company to work with “trusted” third parties, like Integral Ad Science and comScore, to ensure ads don’t appear on offensive sites.
“We apologize for letting some of you down,” Wojcicki said during the NewFronts in New York. “I’m here to say that we can and we will do better.”
Still, MediaRadar’s data shows that Starbucks, Dish, AT&T and Pepsi did stop buying ads in April. General Motors, Verizon, Johnson & Johnson and Walmart continued on YouTube unchanged.
Interestingly, GM moved its ads to the YouTube home page, where there are likely no editorial concerns. Walmart and J&J kept running through April on a variety of channels. Those ads ran on Google Preferred channels.
The data was gathered by MediaRadar’s cloud-based platform, which collects data on millions of brands across multiple media channels including online, print, linear TV, social media and newsletters.
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