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YouTube’s new plan to put ads on all videos is getting backlash from advertisers who say it could put brands at risk


Susan Wojcicki

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A new policy that will let YouTube run ads on videos outside of its Partner Program just took effect around the world.

But some ad execs expressed concerns that the new policy would create risks for advertisers and push some, along with creators, to rival platforms like TikTok, Snapchat, and Twitch.

Most digital ad buying is automated, and agencies get reports on where clients’ ads ran only after the fact, so they can’t ensure the new videos they’re bidding on aren’t offensive or controversial.

To avoid those newly monetized videos, advertisers would have to use the platform’s more expensive “limited mode” or rely on trusted YouTube Partner Program creators who are subject to stricter moderation policies, said Joshua Lowcock, global brand safety officer at IPG’s Mediabrands network and chief digital officer at the agency UM.

YouTube said all videos still have to meet the brand-safety standards set by the industry group Global Alliance for Responsible Media in 2020 and that it uses artificial intelligence and human curation to pick which channels and videos to monetize.

YouTube also said the newly monetized inventory doesn’t include livestream videos, which are harder to curate in real time, or videos that were previously rejected from the Partner Program.

But Lowcock said YouTube has a mixed track record and that these new channels won’t provide the metadata, or tags, that Partner Program creators share.

In recent years, YouTube has run ads on videos containing animal cruelty, political extremism, and climate-change misinformation.

And Rolling Stone recently reported that ads ran on videos by John Hinckley Jr., the man who shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981, after they went viral due to his notoriety. YouTube demonetized Hinckley’s channel in response to the story but said his videos hadn’t violated any of its policies.

An ad-tech exec, who requested anonymity because his company works closely with YouTube, said key questions are how YouTube decides which videos to monetize and how it guarantees that inventory is safe for advertisers.

“Advertisers now have even less visibility into where their ads ran, and the combination of human and machine safety levers have proven to be ineffective in the past among YouTube Partner Program inventory,” said Jay Krihak, managing director of the ad-buying agency Crossmedia.

The change has also irked some creators who said they didn’t choose to monetize their channels and won’t get any of the resulting revenue.

Krihak said advertisers would follow creators to rival platforms and create “a headache for YouTube.” One such platform, TikTok, has pursued top creators with a $200 million fund.

The ad giant IPG has been investing more in YouTube competitors, recently launching a program to help clients work with TikTok stars.

“We are leaning into other partners to better engage with and support the creator community, such as TikTok,” said Lowcock.

YouTube’s dominance means this issue will probably have no significant financial impact. YouTube reported $19.77 billion in 2020 ad revenue, up 24%.

But last year’s Facebook boycott showed advertisers will continue to demand more accountability from …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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