Cancer charity Marie Curie is among the group of massive and influential organisations that have suspended their online advertising spending after an exposé from British newspaper The Times. The report alleged that adverts for the organisations were appearing on extremist videos that completely juxtaposed their brand. It has long been difficult for YouTube to regulate exactly which ads appear on which videos, and this seems to be the epitome of the issue.
Ads from the Marie Curie charity were supposedly appearing on videos by a prominent and extreme neo-Nazi group. A spokesperson for Marie Curie stated: “I can confirm that we have paused a significant proportion of our digital advertising activity, including a complete suspension of YouTube, while we review the robustness of the monitoring in place.”
As The Third Sector reports: “An advertisement appearing alongside a YouTube video earns whoever posts the clip a share of any advertising revenue, which can typically work out at between about £4 and £6.40 for every 1,000 views.” In other words, by paying for an ad that appears on neo-Nazi videos, which then made the neo-Nazis money, the charity had inadvertently provided funding to an extremist group.
Google, who own YouTube, declined to comment on the specific issue. This is not the first time their advertising strategy has demanded adjustment, the company recently announced that they will soon be scrapping un-skippable video adverts, because they have proven so unpopular with users.