Google's (NASDAQ: GOOGL) UK unit has pledged to revamp its advertising policies after a number of major brands pulled their ads from its subsidiary YouTube, because they appeared alongside "extremist" videos.
Brands including The Guardian, UK supermarket chain Sainsbury and L'Oreal as well as British taxpayer-funded bodies such as the BBC, The Royal Air Force and Royal Navy all removed their ads from YouTube and said they would not use Google until the company could guarantee they did not appear alongside such videos.
"Google is responsible for ensuring the high standards applied to government advertising are adhered to and that adverts do not appear alongside inappropriate content," the British government said in a statement. "We have placed a temporary restriction on our YouTube advertising pending reassurances from Google that government messages can be delivered in a safe and appropriate way."
The move led Google UK and Ireland managing director Ronan Harris to pen a blog post conceding that the company could do a better job and would work to make changes in the coming weeks.
Mr Harris said that Google removed nearly 2 billion offensive ads last year and also blacklisted 100,000 publishers from the company's ad sense program, but admitted that the company "don't always get it right".
He said that Google had heard the advertisers' message and would work to prevent customers' ad appearing next to videos that promote terrorism, white supremacy and other forms of extremism.
The company was summoned to appear before the UK government yesterday and reportedly met with officials again today.