Three-quarters of British consumers would be discouraged from purchasing from a brand whose online ads have appeared next to content considered inappropriate, according to a new study by Broadband Genie.

The research also found that 50% would actually blame the company itself for the placement. It comes after several brands, including Marks & Spencer, RBS and Audi, pulled their adverts earlier this year after they appeared alongside extremist content on YouTube.

What people define as 'inappropriate' content does vary, however. Sexually explicit was most agreed upon (70%), while racist (69%), violent (66%) and extremist (65%) content was also high up on the list. Only 9% said they did not believe any content was inappropriate.

Rob Hilborn, head of strategy at Broadband Genie, said: “This research shows brands were right to pull their ads as quickly as they did. The way many of these advertising networks work, it can be hard for companies to know exactly where their product or service will be featured. For this reason, it’s incredibly important for the networks to put in as many safety measures as possible to mitigate the problem and give brands back their confidence.

“The response from Google and other networks has been positive, with them quick to put in measures to raise the standards for channels and sites displaying ads. However, with any system that relies on automation it’s going to be hard to create something completely foolproof.

You can find the full report here.


By Jonathan Davies, editor, Digital Marketing Magazine

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