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‘They’re racing to forgive and jump back in’: Advertisers are falling back in love with YouTube


Business Insider—With Facebook facing heat over the Cambridge Analytica scandal over the past few months, YouTube has largely remained under the radar. But don’t confuse being out of headlines with being inactive.

Despite being hit by a spate of brand-safety crises, with the latest one coming as recently as last month, YouTube appears to be well on its way toward regaining favor with marketers thanks in part to a damage-control blitzkrieg.

Consumer packaged goods giant P&G, for example, recently made a comeback on the platform after keeping its ads off it for more than a year because of concerns about its ads appearing next to inappropriate content.

It’s not the only one. Several brands that ended up leaving YouTube after the brand-safety crisis began last spring — including Ford, PepsiCo, Hulu, and Groupon — have now returned to advertising on the platform, according to advertising-intelligence company MediaRadar.

And while there are big names such as AT&T that continue to sit on the sidelines, all signs point to a move among marketers back toward YouTube.

“Online video is hot — consumers are migrating there fast — so brands really want to be on YouTube,” said Ben Kunz, EVP of marketing and content at Mediassociates. “Pulling back from YouTube due to contextual concerns was conflicting for them, and they’re racing to forgive and jump back in.”

YouTube’s investments in tackling brand safety are working

The company has made significant investments to try to address advertisers’ brand-safety concerns over the past year, including using artificial intelligence to vet videos, hiring more than 10,000 people to review videos, and tightening the requirements for channels to have ads appear alongside their content.

This damage-control blitzkrieg seems to be working, with two key brand executives attending the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s annual Digital Content NewFronts lauding its efforts at a panel on Monday.

“I was on a conference call last week about its recent transparency report and they really put brand safety in context,” Marc Mathieu, US chief marketing officer at Samsung, said at a kickoff panel hosted by MediaLink, referring to a conference call hosted by the company’s CEO, Susan Wojcicki, on April 26. “There are lots of conversations and brands and marketers taking a stance, but they are leading the industry.”

According to MediaRadar, 82% of the top 50 biggest advertisers on YouTube in terms of spend during the first quarter of 2017 have renewed spending on the platform in the first quarter of 2018.

“This may signal that major brands believe that YouTube’s significant efforts and investment to curb content violators are working,” said Todd Krizelman, CEO of MediaRadar. (Continued)


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