LONDON: Keith Weed, chief marketing and communications officer at FMCG giant Unilever, has welcomed the changes being made by the digital giants in policing content as a “step change”.

Speaking yesterday at the annual IAB Engage conference in London, Weed said he believed “there has been really significant progress across the digital media platforms – I think there has been a step change.

“One of the most striking things that has happened since the beginning of last year through into this year is that Google, YouTube and Facebook are now taking responsibility for the content on their platform.”

In the last quarter, for example, YouTube removed around eight million videos through a mixture of human curation and AI.

“That’s a massive shift,” said Weed. And Facebook, he noted, has doubled the number of people checking content. “We are getting to a better place.”

He was also encouraged by the fact that “more people are joining this conversation” as they realise the damage that issues around platform content and poor advertising are causing the industry.

“Ultimately, if we don’t provide good quality digital advertising, more than ever before people can screen it out” – and as the industry moves towards paying only for those ads that are viewed, that has implications for more than just brands.

“It won’t pay for free search on Google, free posting. We need to make sure that advertising is fit for purpose, that people enjoy advertising and watch advertising.”

Unilever’s approach, he said, is to invest only in responsible platforms, responsible content and responsible infrastructure.

He dismissed the idea of outside regulation, observing that even a two-year-old playbook for advertising on Facebook bore no relation to how Unilever approaches the platform today.

“The idea a regulator can understand and get ahead to create something is unrealistic,” he said.

In any case, “consumers are moving faster than industry – we used to lead consumers, now marketers are chasing them. The technology you have at work is less than the technology you have at home.”

Sourced from WARC