AT&T Ads Returning to YouTube, 2 Years After Pulling Back over Content

By Christine Zosche 

AT&T said Friday it will again buy advertising on Alphabet’s YouTube, nearly two years after the U.S. wireless carrier left the video platform when it discovered its ads may have appeared next to inappropriate content. (Reuters)

The decision reflects the progress that YouTube has made with advertisers in the 22 months since a number of them discovered that some of their ads were appearing during, or before, videos promoting hate speech, terrorism and other disturbing content. AT&T was among the first companies that stopped paying to advertise on YouTube, telling it that they wouldn’t return until it made improvements. (NYT)

AT&T leveraged a YouTube “brand suitability system” that involves creating a customized list of content categories to avoid. According to AT&T’s chief brand officer, Fiona Carter, this helped them reach a “near-zero” outcome in terms of the number of AT&T ads that appear alongside controversial or divisive content. (VentureBeat)

AT&T is the second-biggest advertiser in the US, with a $2.4 billion spend in 2017. (The Drum)

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