As a result of the Journal's findings Coke, Pepsi, Walmart, Starbuck's and others said they, too, were pulling their advertising from some or all of Google's properties. Google better get this problem fixed fast before advertisers realize how little difference they see in their sales.
The Journal says,
"the ease with which journalists have been able to find top brands’ ads on controversial videos suggests Google is still failing to catch some of the most obvious examples."
Google is doing a terrible job on two fronts. First they seem unable to do anything about controlling this fire. Second, they are looking like con men by trying to bullshit their customers -- an executive at one of the affected advertisers said Google, “had assured us over the past few days that our brands were safe from this type of content...”
As each day goes by and Google continues to pretend the problem is under control, their credibility seriously deteriorates. They have a massive technological problem on their hands in trying to determine the content of 100's of millions of videos. Fixing this problem is not going to be easy.
On the broader front, as we've been saying here forever, the problem is not Google per se. The problem is adtech. The value proposition for adtech is "re-targeting" -- finding the most valuable eyeballs
at the shittiest possible (cheapest) locations. This cannot help but deliver advertising to appalling places.
So long as online advertising is locked into the current adtech model this will continue to be a headache for online advertisers. YouTube is taking the hit now because that's where reporters are looking and everyone likes to pick on the big guy. But the problem is systemic.
Two things you may want to read: First, Brands Need To Fire Adtech by Doc Searls. Second, I will have a piece on my blog tomorrow (Monday) about corruption at the heart of the online ad industry.