When it comes to ads running on questionable content, brands are starting to catch on. This time, brands have removed ads from obtainable YouTube channels. Several big brands (including Alibaba, Fox, Nike, Acer and Paramount) have pulled ads from InfoWars’ channels after CNN showed that their commercials were being shown on the conspiracy-driven network’s videos.
The advertising companies involved said that they were not only unaware of the placement, but also had set up exclusion filters to avoid displaying ads against content like this. Some advertisers said that they have blacklisted InfoWars channels entirely, but didn’t actually realize how many channels the company really had.
The report even caught the non-profit USA for UNCR inadvertently running ads on InfoWars. That’s not all because it appears that they’re going a step further to pull all of their ads from YouTube altogether. This is not a good look for YouTube as well.
In a statement to CNN, YouTube spokesperson declined to address how InfoWars had slipped through the sensitive subject filters and instead mentioned itself as striking a balance. YouTube said it vows to “uphold free expression” even if it disagrees with the ideas, but further added that it won’t and doesn’t allow ads on videos covering “sensitive and tragic events.”
If you don’t know what InfoWars does, they frequently promote widely discredited conspiracies around things such as events, including Parkland and Sand Hook mass shootings.