The backlash against Google's video streaming site YouTube is now spreading rapidly among US brands. Telecom giants Verizon and AT&T, along with Johnson & Johnson and car rental company Enterprise are among the major US brands to suspend ads from Google over extremist YouTube videos.
The withdrawal of ads is only for non-search related advertising as the companies found their ads have run along extremist video content. The US brands are the latest to join a long list of over 250 companies mainly based in Europe.
The row escalated earlier this week when well-known British entities, including the British government, major brands like Marks and Spencer, Argos and even banks such as RBS scrapped their ad contracts. The brands along with politicians in Europe are deeply disturbed over ads appearing alongside their videos on YouTube carrying homophobic, anti-Semitic and even religious extremist messages.
Although Google apologised shortly after the backlash and vowed an overhaul of its practices, the number of brands pulling out is only increasing.
"Google must walk a fine line between giving advertisers more control and alienating the massive community of content creators who have made the site a top destination for coveted young viewers," analyst Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research told Reuters. "One likely path forward for Google is to tighten controls on which videos are eligible for advertising, perhaps by the channel's track record or number of viewers," he added.