Google’s Big Oops

It appears that some Super Bowl ads have ended up playing before the wrong videos on YouTube; videos that support terrorism and violence. One ad was Hyundai’s ad supporting U.S troops who are active and over seas. The video was supporting a political group by the name of Hezbollah that is listed as a terrorist group by the USA. What made it very concerning for Hyundai’s ad about American Troops is that the video for the group is best known for an attack on American troops in 1983 that killed 241 U.S marines but have been involved in attacks from 1982 to 2015. Definitely not a group you want your brand to be identified with.

Google worked quickly to fix the problem and a spokesperson from Google commented to Ad Age that they have strict advertising guidelines, and work hard to prevent ads appearing against any video once it is determined that the content of the video is not appropriate for any of their advertising partners. Google works hard to remove any videos that are against it’s community guidelines but while ads do not appear on the video that started the┬áproblem the video itself has yet to be taken down.

I find it odd that a Google spokesperson states “We have clear policies prohibiting terrorist recruitment and content intending to incite violence” to a magazine like Ad Age but doesn’t take down a video supporting a terrorist group that sparked problems with some of their advertising partners. While I believe Google acted quickly to remove ads from the video, the fact that they haven’t removed the video now that they are fully aware of it and has caught the attention of large news outlets like Fox is alarming . The video was still up while I was writing this blog post even though it was first reported by Fox February 9th, 2017 as well as Ad Age on February 12th, 2017.