In the drive to maximize reach and efficiency, advertisers have embraced an increasingly complex digital ad ecosystem that is more and more automated and opaque.
Now, at a time when consumers are demonstrating heightened concern about hate speech, offensive content, and social and political issues, advertisers are learning the hard way that they have helped create a monster they aren’t in control of.
In the past several weeks, major advertisers and ad agenices have pulled ads from Google and YouTube in a boycott that was sparked by a Times investigation which found that ads from prominent brands were being displayed alongside extremist content. By some estimates, the boycott could cost Google hundreds of millions of dollars this year alone.
In response, Google has promised change, but the truth of the matter is that the problem appears to be even larger than estimated, as practically everywhere observers look, they are finding examples of offensive content being used to serve ads from major brands.