After a spring of bad PR and advertiser boycotts over offensive video on its platform, Google's YouTube emphasized the safest content it had to offer at a presentation to ad buyers Thursday evening.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki opened the event, which it calls Brandcast, by acknowledging the recent advertiser strife and committed to the changes being made to curb objectionable content. She reiterated a company apology on the subject, taking responsibility for ads that appeared near the worst types of content.
But YouTube also paraded a stream of brand-friendly celebrity talent across the stage, including James Corden, Kevin Hart and Katy Perry, who will appear in unscripted original series on YouTube. It also promoted a singing competition with Ryan Seacrest. And it pointedly identified the exclusive sponsor of the Seacrest show as Johnson & Johnson, one of many major marketers that halted spending with YouTube in March.
"In addition to a major investment in Google Preferred," said Robert Kyncl, chief business officer at YouTube, "Johnson & Johnson Consumer Brands has signed on as the exclusive sponsor of one of these new shows, a talent competition produced by Ryan Seacrest called 'Best.Cover.Ever.'"
Google Preferred is another safe zone for brands on YouTube, a curated package of video inventory that YouTube calls its most-viewed and most engaging, where marketers can be more certain of the content they're buying.