Johnson & Johnson suspends all YouTube adverts globally

Concerns arise over ads appearing on channels airing offensive content related to terrorism and hate

We take this matter very seriously and will continue to take every measure to ensure our brand advertising is consistent with our brand values.

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has suspended all of its YouTube advertising worldwide, in response to growing concerns over adverts appearing on channels promoting offensive content.

The decision follows that of US mobile networks Verizon and AT&T, which both decided to withdraw their use of the Google-owned platform for the same reason earlier this week.

Content that promotes terrorism and hate are of particular concern to companies advertising on YouTube.

J&J, which owns brands including Aveeno and Neutrogena, stated: “We take this matter very seriously and will continue to take every measure to ensure our brand advertising is consistent with our brand values.”

On 21 March, Google’s Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler published a statement explaining that more than 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.

He wrote: “We have a responsibility to protect this vibrant, creative world – from emerging creators to established publishers – even when we don’t always agree with the views being expressed.

"But we also have a responsibility to our advertisers who help these publishers and creators thrive.

“We have strict policies that define where Google ads should appear, and in the vast majority of cases, our policies and tools work as intended. But at times we don’t get it right.”

Schindler explained that Google has already begun “ramping up” changes around ad policies, enforcement and new controls for advertisers.

He confirmed: “We know advertisers don't want their ads next to content that doesn’t align with their values.

“So starting today, we’re taking a tougher stance on hateful, offensive and derogatory content.

“This includes removing ads more effectively from content that is attacking or harassing people based on their race, religion, gender or similar categories.”

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