With the snap General Election only a week away, political tension is high across the internet. And as each side slings rhetoric and misinformation, social media communities are needing a distraction. But thanks to the Conservative Party, they aren’t about to find it on YouTube.
The Tories have ramped up spending on YouTube pre-roll ads – causing them to appear before almost every video.
Because of the ongoing Adpocalypse, there’s a lot of room for companies to drop money on YouTube advertising and get a lot of eyes on it; something that Theresa May’s campaign is taking full advantage of. But the video being promoted is decidedly not pro-Conservative; so much as it is anti-Corbyn.
The promoted video from the Conservative Party warns of the “dangers” of voting for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The move is an interesting one; especially after the UK Government was one of the most vocal organisations to pull advertising from YouTube. The Tories’ YouTube channel itself is full of strong and stable soundbites; but the focus of their ad campaign is aimed at disparaging their main opponent. The video itself has disabled comments and like/dislikes.
But the YouTube community is pushing back on the ads appearing before their content.
Creators, notably ones who have been vocally anti-Conservative since the election was announced, are asking their audiences to warn them if the ad appears before their videos, and report it if it does. Some are even going so far as to disable advertising entirely until the election campaign is over; meaning they’ll take a dip in their ad revenue.
What do you think? Are YouTubers right to protest the Conservative ads on their videos? Should the Tories be using a different video? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.