P&G, which spends $2.75 billion on advertising annually, will manually okay videos and channels it advertises on. So far, it is only considering ad space on 10,000 channels, compared to the 3 million it placed ads on back in 2017.
“We paused advertising, and for the past year, we’ve worked extensively with YouTube to improve brand safety,” said Tressie Rose, a P&G spokesperson, in a statement to Bloomberg. “We now feel the right measures are in place for P&G brands to have the option to advertise on YouTube.”
This special relationship with YouTube may serve P&G well to keep its brand safe, especially since YouTube is embroiled in yet another brand safety scandal, as CNN reported on Thursday. More than 300 different companies saw their ads algorithmically placed in front of white nationalist content.
“We have strong values-led guidelines in place and are working with YouTube to understand how this could have slipped through the guardrails. We take these matters very seriously and are working to rectify this immediately,” a spokesperson for Under Armour, which has paused its advertising on YouTube, said to CNN.
Despite YouTube’s efforts to compensate for the flaws with its algorithmic moderation systems, such as promising to drastically expand its human review team, video ads continue to appear beside extremist content without the video hosting service intervening.
P&G seems to understand the platform’s limitations, taking moderation into its own hands, in line with its previous efforts to “cut waste” from its digital advertising budget. If YouTube can’t (or won’t) step up to protect its brand partners, P&G has committed to protecting itself.
“We are committed to working with our advertisers and getting this right,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement to CNN. The company has not specified just how it plans to do that.