Google says its YouTube ad problem is “very very very small” but it’s getting better at fixing it anyway – Recode (Apr 3, 2017)
There are one or two interesting data points in here, with the most interesting probably being that videos big advertisers “had flagged received less than 1/1000th of a percent of the advertisers’ total impressions” – in other words, the problematic videos were around one in 100,000 or less of the videos where ads appeared (it’s worth noting that this number only relates to the videos flagged by brands – there may have been quite a few more they didn’t find). The other interesting thing here is the suggestion Google exec Schindler makes several times that there’s some unnamed person behind the recent attention this issue is getting: there was a report recently that someone who developed detection technology for videos was pushing the story as a way to get attention for that technology, and I wonder if Schindler is hinting at that without being explicit and thereby drawing more attention to the issue. The last thing worth noting is that Google is now allowing outside firms like DoubleVerify and comScore to start auditing ad placement, which is something that third parties have been wanting. The issue is definitely fading from the headlines as the stream of advertisers announcing boycotts dries up, but it certainly hasn’t been dealt with definitively, and as I’ve argued, as an issue it goes well beyond just YouTube and affects programmatic buying more broadly as well.
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