Marks & Spencer pulls ads from Google over concerns of extremist content

Marks & Spencer pulls ads from Google over concerns of extremist content

Marks & Spencer has pulled its adverts from Google following concerns that they were appearing alongside extremist content.

The British high street giant said it is "pausing activity across Google platforms", which includes the video-sharing site YouTube.

The move comes after the US tech firm was accused by British MPs last week of "profiting from hatred" over its advertising system, which saw both company and taxpayer-funded adverts appear alongside extremist material.

An M&S spokesman said on Monday: "In order to ensure brand safety, we are pausing activity across Google platforms whilst the matter is worked through."

M&S joins the likes of HSBC, Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland, the BBC and McDonald's in withdrawing its ads.

The UK's Cabinet Office said it has placed a temporary restriction on its YouTube advertising "pending reassurances from Google that Government messages can be delivered in a safe and appropriate way", while the Guardian and Channel 4 have also halted their advertising with the firm.

Google's advertising network uses an automatic filtering system which places adverts on websites and videos.

The internet giant's UK managing director, Ronan Harris, has admitted the company "can and must do more" to combat what it called "bad advertising".

"We've begun a thorough review of our ads policies and brand controls, and we will be making changes in the coming weeks to give brands more control over where their ads appear across YouTube and the Google Display Network.

"With millions of sites in our network and 400 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, we recognise that we don't always get it right.

"In a very small percentage of cases, ads appear against content that violates our monetisation policies," he said.

More in this Section

UK Ryanair flights take off as normal despite pilots’ strikeUK Ryanair flights take off as normal despite pilots’ strike

Here are the 9 steps for businesses to take to prepare for BrexitHere are the 9 steps for businesses to take to prepare for Brexit

Tesco ‘could ban brands’ with excessive plastic from shelvesTesco ‘could ban brands’ with excessive plastic from shelves

Around 50 SMEs see sales rise by more than €1m in four months in eBay pilot programmeAround 50 SMEs see sales rise by more than €1m in four months in eBay pilot programme


Lifestyle

A parent coach says parents are often the best judge of how to care for their baby – and explains how they can learn to have faith in their intuition.Ask an expert: How can I know what’s best for my baby?

We take a trip down memory lane and check out what happened on this day in years gone by by looking back at some Irish Examiner front pages and highlighting other events which went down in history across the world.August 23, 2019: A look back at what happened on this day in years gone by

RP O’Donnell says it is hard to find anywhere better than Boston to show your family a great time as he returns to a city he used to call homeA family friendly holiday guide to get the best out of beautiful Boston

Leslie Williams sampled the seafood at Cavistons in Dublin.Restaurant Review: Cavistons - Charming staff, the freshest fish, solid cooking

More From The Irish Examiner