Google has a golden goose to protect. And it looks like the company wants to monitor all the eggs now, too.
“We have a responsibility to protect this vibrant, creative world—from emerging creators to established publishers—even when we don’t always agree with the views being expressed,” noted a Google blog post late last week. “But we also have a responsibility to our advertisers who help these publishers and creators thrive.”
Did you notice that last line?
Yes, Google has probably been experiencing some advertiser blowback due to the proliferation of bloggers and videographers — many of them in political, social, and other bailiwicks — with ideas that could seem risky to advertisers.
“Recently, we had a number of cases where brands’ ads appeared on content that was not aligned with their values,” Google explained. “That’s why we’ve been conducting an extensive review of our advertising policies and tools, and why we made a public commitment last week to put in place changes that would give brands more control over where their ads appear.”
The company is cooking up changes now, specifically in ad policies, in its policy enforcement, and with development of new controls for advertisers.
For starters, Google will “introduce new account-level controls to make it easier for advertisers to exclude specific sites and channels from all of their AdWords for Video and Google Display Network campaigns, and manage brand safety settings across all their campaigns with a push of a button.”
The company claims it will hire more people to monitor advertising, as well as develop more tools so that advertisers have more control.
This will be an interesting story to follow. Brands are fairly sensitive about where their ads appear, but they’re also big fans of eyeballs (and ears). It’s hard to imagine marketers yanking ads from YouTube channels that are attracting major crowds, for instance, unless there are serious breaches of propriety.
On the other hand, “corporations are people” now — and companies like Home Depot might not want its ads on a channel featuring a blogger advocating for birth control. It’s not different from the power that advertisers have always had to pick and choose their preferred venues, whether TV shows, radio programs, or print media.
We’ll keep an eye out for developments. In the meantime, you can read more — from Google’s post — right here.