IPA welcomes YouTube’s commitment to tackling brand safety

The IPA has warmly welcomed the comprehensive commitment by Google YouTube to achieving greater levels of brand safety in their announcement last night (16 Jan).

The IPA has stressed the importance of protecting brands and the public in an intensive and ongoing dialogue with Google YouTube and so welcomes:

  • Higher thresholds for content to be eligible for monetisation, which will provide more time and information for YouTube to determine this
  • The deployment of a human-artificial intelligence hybrid approach to content verification
  • Google Preferred strengthening to 100% of channels and videos being manually reviewed
  • A simple 3-tier suitability system

Says IPA President Sarah Golding, CEO of CHI&Partners: “The UK is arguably the most advanced large-scale digital market in the world. And there is no doubt that the brand-safety issues that have plagued us in recent months have threatened both our agencies’ and advertisers’ reputations. As such, we have been in ongoing dialogue with Google over the past year to help exact change in these areas. We are therefore very pleased to see that Google has set out a comprehensive set of actions to help rectify these issues and address our concerns.

“As part of my ‘Magic and the machines’ Presidential agenda, I have made it my mission to encourage our industry to embrace the opportunities to grow alongside machines and to take advantage of the new tools on offer to help us to be even better at what we do. YouTube’s hybrid solution of human experts – with their unique strengths, and AI machines – with their speed and scale, is a welcome step forward in this area.

“We will of course be keeping a close eye on how this plays out and look forward to welcoming Ronan Harris to the next IPA Council meeting in March where we will discuss how these developments meet proposals put to YouTube following the December meeting of the IPA Media Futures Group, the Group which makes media policy decisions for the IPA.”

The IPA’s MFG proposals included:  

  • Raised monetisation thresholds and greater detail on transparency reporting
  • The impact on scale and pricing of manually reviewing all Google Preferred content
  • Additional reporting on recency and pre-vetting of content (e.g. how long does it take the average video to build 10k views, 100k views etc) and data on viral builds
  • Switching off comments by default on children’s videos and news
  • More protection around automatic upload for content, which includes children

Says Tom George, Chair of the IPA’s Media Futures Group and UK CEO of Group M: “Whilst Google’s communication doesn’t go as far as the proposals the IPA presented to them following our meeting at the end of 2017, we believe it is a step in the right direction and evidence that Google has listened to the advertising community to try to resolve the issues of brand safety that have been the subject of much concern in 2017.”