The YouTube Video Scandal Alarms Advertisers
Numerous international brands have withdrawn their spots from the platform; could it be the beginning of a trend reversal? YouTube videos aimed at children who show scenes of violence and morbid movies (often beyond the limit of child pornography) did not only raise the alarm of parents, but also that of advertisers. In recent days, numerous international brands - including Adidas, Lidl, Mars, Deutsche Bank and others - have decided to withdraw their ads from the video streaming platform.
An important damage for those who, like YouTube, generate revenue exclusively through advertising. But why this sudden escape from the Google-owned service? The reason is only one: no brand wants to run the risk that its products or services are combined with videos of violence intended for young people or content that should not really make its way through the filters of YouTube control.
"No advertising should appear next to these movies and we are working to fix the problem," a platform spokesperson explained. "In the last few years we have worked hard to make sure that YouTube is a safe place for companies. Although we have made important progress, we know that we must continue to improve ".
But this scandal is likely to be just the tip of the iceberg. It was talked about in Milan at the IAB Forum, the conference dedicated to online advertising; during which the moral duty of platforms such as Google and Facebook have been repeatedly stressed to prevent such contents from being published and seen by millions of people. At the same time, however, it is precisely the nature of these services (on which billions of user-generated contents are published every day) which makes it almost impossible to carry out effective monitoring.
Will the recent scandal - which has far more important implications than mere advertising - lead to an inversion of course by advertisers? In recent years, in fact, the online advertising market has become the duopoly of Google and Facebook, which have now conquered over 70% of the market and are the only players that grow year after year. A situation that, in 2017, had serious consequences on the international publishing world.
Yet, the signals to realize the dangers of this trend were already there. YouTube - as explained in a panel organized by Treads, a startup of online advertising recently purchased by Altice Group for 285 million euros - was in fact the target of companies for some time, due to the offer of advertising space that had aroused a lot perplexity in terms of safety, performance and quality.
From this point of view, however, it seems that the traditional editorial publications not only offer an environment, by force of things, more controlled and quality compared to platforms based on user generated content, but capture more users' attention. According to a research commissioned by Treads - also taken from the specialized publication Ad Week - the advertisements appearing on traditional newspapers get an attention, and remain in the memory of users, for a percentage of 16% higher than those on social media. The reason seems to be linked to the less frenetic experience that readers have in online newspapers, compared to the endless scrolling that characterizes social networks.Image Copyright: Google