A fresh wave of advertisers suspended commercials on YouTube after their ads showed up next to videos that appeared to attract pedophile viewers and comments.
The backlash Friday was the latest over what critics say is the inability of YouTube owner Google, and parent Alphabet Inc., to effectively police the video service and assure advertisers their spots won’t end up running near inappropriate or offensive content.
Big brand advertisers, including candy-maker Mars Inc., sportswear firm Adidas AG, alcohol-giant Diageo PLC, and British satellite TV operator Sky PLC’s subsidiary, Now TV, said they had paused advertising on YouTube. They responded after the Times of London reported ads for those companies were popping up next to videos of young children, many of which attracted lewd comments from viewers.
A spokesman for YouTube said Friday the video-sharing service forbids comments that sexualize or exploit children, and that the videos in question should never have displayed any ads. “We are working urgently to fix this,” the spokesman said.