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Aussie brands join YouTube boycott

News, 28 March 2017
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SYDNEY: Automotive brands Holden and Kia are the first companies in Australia to suspend programmatic advertising on Youtube after learning that their ads were appearing alongside questionable content.

According to a report on Mumbrella, Holden suspended its programmatic advertising on the video platform this past weekend after discovering its ads running alongside a misogynistic video about iconic Australian journalist Ita Buttrose. Kia also suspended its programmatic buy around the same time.

The companies join an ever-lengthening list of global advertisers including Johnson & Johnson, Starbucks, GSK and PepsiCo who have pulled their programmatic buys from YouTube over the last two weeks. In Australia, Bunnings Foxtel and Caltex have also put their YouTube advertising on hold.

Both auto companies are seeking further clarifications from YouTube's parent company, Google, on the issue.

Holden told the Sydney Morning Herald it had halted all advertising on YouTube until the company could ensure it wouldn't feature alongside controversial video content.

"We value our good relationship with Google but in line with General Motors' global response and Holden's diversity stance, we have instructed our media agency to temporarily suspend all advertising on YouTube until we are confident Google can protect our brand from inappropriate or offensive content," a Holden spokesman said in a statement.

Likewise, Kia intends to halt its YouTube spend until it has satisfactory answers.

"Programmatic advertising was suspended as soon as we were made aware of this particular incident. It will remain suspended until such time as we can meet with Google to further clarify the application of this type of advertising," a Kia spokesperson told Mumbrella.

While Google has apologised to advertisers affected by the issue, the company has seen its market value plummet AU$31bn as a result of the ongoing crisis. The boycott was spearheaded by Havas UK and a number of UK advertisers almost two weeks ago.

Data sourced from Mumbrella, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age; additional content by Warc staff

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