U.S. advertisers quit Google

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AT&T said that it is halting all ad spending on Google except for search ads. That means AT&T ads will not run on YouTube or two million websites that take part in Google's ad network."We are deeply concerned that our ads may have appeared alongside YouTube content promoting terrorism and hate," the company said in an emailed statement. "Until Google can ensure this won’t happen again, we are removing our ads from Google’s non-search platforms."Sanette Chao, who handles marketing communications and branding for Verizon, confirmedthat mobile operator has also pulled its ads."Once we were notified that our ads were appearing on non-sanctioned websites, we took immediate action to suspend this type of ad placement and launched an investigation," Chao said in a statement.
Google is attempting to quell a growing furor by the British government and major brands in the U.K., and now the U.S., angered over the placement of online ads alongside offensive or extremist content — such as videos by white supremacists or the Islamic State. In response, earlier this week Google that it would pull online ads from controversial content, give brands more control over where their ads appear and would deploy more people to enforce its ad policies.So far, Google has not done enough to reassure advertisers, says Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Wieser, who downgraded Google parent company Alphabet's stock on Monday. He had warned the U.K. boycott could have global repercussions for Google.
That's easier said than done in the digital age. Brands often don't know where their online ads are running. That's because much of the ad buying in question, programmatic ad buying, is computerized, with machines making the decision on where ads should appear on the Internet, all with very little human oversight.That kind of ad buying "has gotten ahead of the advertising industry’s checks-and-balances," Enterprise Holdings spokeswoman Laura Bryant said. The car rental company also pulled its ads from Google and YouTube.
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