Friday Wake-Up Call: YouTube has brand safety issues, again. And 'Fearless Girl' will get moved

Welcome to Ad Age’s Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. Happy 420 Day. What people are talking about today: Congratulations to the winners of the Ad Age A-List and Creativity Awards. The sold-out gala was last night at Cipriani 25 in New York (if you missed it, have a look at Ad Age’s Instagram Stories). The Creativity Awards were judged by industry leaders, and Campaign of the Year went to Wieden & Kennedy Portland and KFC’s entertaining Colonel Sanders work. “Efforts included featuring the Colonel as a Fabio-like hero of a steamy romance novella for Mother’s Day, and making him a playable character in a WWE game,” as Ad Age notes in the write-up. The full list is here. (The A-List winners were announced a while back; you can check that out here.)

Oops! They did it again

Yes, YouTube is caught up in yet another brand safety scandal. CNN Money reports that it found ads from over 300 companies and organizations “on YouTube channels promoting white nationalists, Nazis, pedophilia, conspiracy theories and North Korean propaganda.” The ads came from companies including Adidas, Amazon, Cisco, Facebook, Hershey, Hilton, LinkedIn, Mozilla, Netflix, Nordstrom and Under Armour. Under Armour told CNN that it would pause its spend on the Google-owned platform, while some other brands said they are investigating how this happened. CNN quoted a YouTube statement that says, in part, that the company is “committed to working with our advertisers and getting this right.” But how much of a commitment is there? Similar problems have been popping up for over a year, since the discovery that ads were running on YouTube content promoting terrorism and hate. And despite it all, as one analyst tells CNN, none of this has hurt YouTube’s bottom line.

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