Procter & Gamble Ends YouTube Advertising Boycott

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The move follows a CNN investigation that found ads from brands including Facebook and Under Armour recently ran alongside videos with extremist content, including white supremacist videos.

One year after it ceased advertising with YouTube due to concerns over inappropriate content, Procter & Gamble has resumed buying spots on the video platform. 

"The brand safety issues that arose last March made it clear we needed to take more control of where our ads appeared on YouTube. We paused advertising, and for the past year, we’ve worked extensively with YouTube to improve brand safety," a P&G representative said Monday in a statement. "We now feel the right measures are in place for P&G brands to have the option to advertise on YouTube. To ensure brand safety, our brands will appear only within a list of channels that have been reviewed and approved to be safe for our advertising."

The spokesperson added that P&G has done "extensive testing" with the video-streaming platform in the past year to mitigate risk that company-branded products would appear on channels deemed inappropriate.

The company has created a "whitelist" of videos and channels that it will advertise on exclusively; the list reduces the number of channels advertised on from 3 million prior to the brand's YouTube boycott in 2017 to 10,000.

A spokesperson for Google told The Hollywood Reporter, "We appreciate the partnership with Procter & Gamble and look forward to continue working with them."

P&G stopped advertising on YouTube in March 2017, when several other companies, including Starbucks, PepsiCo, Verizon and Johnson & Johnson also pulled ads over concern that marketing for their brands might appear on or near videos that the companies considered inappropriate. Those decisions followed a Wall Street Journal report that several of the companies had had ads running before or alongside racist content. 

Though YouTube has come under scrutiny since the boycott of these major brands, P&G's return to the platform follows a CNN investigation that found ads from brands including Facebook and Under Armour recently ran alongside videos with extremist content, including white supremacist videos. More than 300 companies, including five government agencies, ran ads on channels that promoted content like white nationalism, pedophilia and conspiracy theories, the report found.

In December, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki promised to expand the platform's trust and safety teams to more than 10,000 members in 2018 to combat channels that infringe upon YouTube's terms of service.