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Google sorry for adverts alongside extremist content

AFP  |  London 

A top Google executive today apologised after company and adverts appeared alongside extremist content on its Internet platforms.

The apology from Matt Brittin, president of Google's Europe, Middle East and division, came after banks HSBC and RBS, along with major retailer Marks and Spencer (M&S), decided to suspend their adverts from appearing on platforms such as YouTube.


"I would like to apologise to our partners and advertisers who might have been affected by their ads appearing on controversial content," Brittin said in a statement.

"We take our responsibilities to these industry issues very seriously."

Brittin said Google was already making improvements thanks to increased investment -- resulting in it "raising the bar for our ads policies, simplifying advertiser controls and adding safer defaults".

In a statement today, HSBC said said it takes "breach of our advertising standards very seriously and have put advertising with Google on hold at this time".

An M&S spokesman added: "In order to ensure brand safety, we are pausing activity across Google platforms whilst the matter is worked through."

The British arm of French advertising agency Havas suspended such advertising last week. Others to pull the plug, temporarily at least, are the BBC, Guardian newspaper group and McDonalds

In the UK, a committee of MPs has meanwhile demanded that Google explain how adverts have appeared on "inappropriate and hate-filled sites" and whether the and advertisers will be refunded payments made to the US tech giant.

A spokesperson said today: "It is totally unacceptable that taxpayer-funded advertising has appeared next to inappropriate internet content -- and that message was conveyed very clearly to Google.

"The Cabinet Office has told Google it expects to see a plan and a timetable for work to improve protection of adverts to ensure this doesn't happen again.

"YouTube advertising remains on hold while that work is carried out.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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