Core Media restarts ‘limited’ advertising on YouTube

Normal service won’t resume until Google offers new assurances on ‘brand safety’

Advertisers suspended  campaigns after their ads appeared in YouTube videos featuring homophobic and anti-Semitic messages. Photograph:  Dado Ruvic/Reuters

Advertisers suspended campaigns after their ads appeared in YouTube videos featuring homophobic and anti-Semitic messages. Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

 

Media agency Core Media has resumed “limited” and “very controlled” advertising on Google’s YouTube platform.

The Dublin-based group paused all advertising campaigns on YouTube and the Google Display Network in March amid fears that ads were appearing alongside extremist content.

Justin Cullen, chief digital and data officer for the Core Media group, said the agency had resumed booking “mastheads”, or banner display ads, on YouTube’s curated home page. There is no possibility of the ads appearing on any other channel.

It is also once again booking ads that appear within YouTube music videos hosted by the company Vevo, which is largely owned by Universal and Sony and has a licensing deal with the third of the “big three” music labels, Warner Music Group.

“We have reactivated campaigns where we feel confident that the brands are safe,” said Mr Cullen.

Clients of the group, which is Ireland’s largest buyer of advertising, include Musgrave, the National Lottery, Aviva and Heineken.

Core Media, in common with several international agencies and advertisers, is waiting on further assurances from Google about “brand safety controls”, or the placement of ads, before it makes a full return to YouTube.

Its decision to suspend its campaigns last month followed similar moves by agencies and advertisers in the UK, which pulled their campaigns from Google after their ads appeared in YouTube videos featuring homophobic and anti-Semitic messages. The dispute then spread to markets including France, Australia and the United States.

Google, which has apologised to advertisers, is keen to resolve the issue, which is costing it millions of dollars in lost advertising revenues.