American multinational AT&T confirmed on Friday that it would finally make its return to the hugely popular video streaming platform.
YouTube found itself in hot water back in early 2017 after it came to light that certain ads were being placed alongside extremist content. The controversy prompted a number of brands from Europe and the US to abandon the platform entirely, and YouTube said that it would take a “tougher stance on hateful, offensive and derogatory” videos.
Fast forward to early 2019 and AT&T believes that YouTube has now done enough to warrant a portion of its significant marketing spend. The American conglomerate said that it had leveraged new tools to create a “data-driven, brand safe solution” for its ads.
AT&T’s Chief Brand Officer Fiona Carter said that there had been “many hours of hard work” behind the scenes to pave the way for its return and that “three rigorous content tests” had given them the peace of mind that ads will now be served up against thoughtful, engaging content.
Carter also revealed that YouTube’s own “brand suitability system” had helped. This process involves the use of a curated list of content categories, which enables companies to side step any potential faux pas by avoiding clips with violence, hate speech and extremism.
She added: “This was enough to convince us that our brand could safely return to YouTube.” AT&T will now be hopeful that its “near-zero” algorithm will hold up when ads go live in the near future.