Big brands are pulling advertising from YouTube and Google after their ads were found to be displayed against content being exploited by paedophiles.
Despite YouTube promising to take an “even more aggressive stance” against predatory behaviour, the confectionery giants Mars and Cadbury, the supermarket Lidl, Deutsche Bank and Adidas have led a wave of brands removing advertising from YouTube.
According to investigations by BBC News and the Times, there are estimated to be tens of thousands of predatory accounts evading protection mechanisms to leave indecent comments on videos of children. Some videos are posted by paedophiles and many are innocently posted by youngsters.
Some of the comments are said to be sexually explicit, while others reportedly encourage children posting the videos to perform sexual acts.
A Mars spokesperson said: “We are shocked and appalled to see that our adverts have appeared alongside such exploitative and inappropriate content. We have taken the decision to immediately suspend all our online advertising on YouTube and Google globally. Until we have confidence that appropriate safeguards are in place, we will not advertise on YouTube and Google.”