Earlier this week, Google lost over 250 YouTube advertisers as a result of misplaced ads on extremist videos. A high profile example of the problem involved The Guardian and the ads promoting its newspaper subscription, which ended up being overlayed on top of such video content.
Unsurprisingly, the boycott against YouTube advertising spread to Australian shores with various entities dissatisfied with the potential association of their names and brands with objectionable material. Earlier in the week, automobile giants Holden and Kia had already pulled the plug on their advertising, specifically over concerns of misogynistic comments made in a video posted by a "men's rights" account against former Australian of the Year, Ita Buttrose.
Since then, the car makers have been joined by both Telstra and Tourism Australia, amidst concerns of subsequent brand damage. Now, those ranks have swelled once more with the Australian Commonwealth Government having announced the suspension of "all non-corporate campaign advertising" from YouTube.
The scope of the Government's advertising ban includes public messages such as those issued by the Department of Health or recruitment ads for the Australian Defence Force. However, corporations owned by the Government, such as Australia Post and NBN Co, the country's National Broadband Network operator are not subject to this ban.
With regards to the advertising withdrawal, Senator Scott Ryan, Australian Special Minister of State, said that it would stop public funds from "inadvertently flowing to unsavoury organisations" via YouTube. He also said that the Government "will continue to request updates from Google on the steps being taken to mitigate risks."
The move by the Australian Commonwealth Government echoes that of the UK Government which had already taken action several days ago.