Companies like AT&T and Johnson & Johnson are threatening to remove their ads from Google because Google is not doing enough to prevent brands from appearing next to offensive material. Google has said they are putting together a plan and are trying to resolve the problem, but that is not good enough.
The New York Times reported that, “The company has defended itself by noting that it prevents ads, which are placed on websites automatically, from running near inappropriate material “in the vast majority of cases.” It also said it added thousands of sites to its ad network every day, as well as 400 hours of video to YouTube every minute.”
AT&T is concerned that their ads may have appeared alongside YouTube content promoting terrorism and hate. They are removing their advertisements until Google ensures it does not happen again. Similarly, Johnson & Johnson are removing their ads to “ensure our product advertising does not appear on channels that promote offensive content.”
Google has begun a review of their advertising policies and have made a public commitment to put in place changes that give brands more control over where their ads appear. It seems that are not putting this at a high enough priority.
This can be related to consequentialism because Google is doing wrong and lacking integrity because they are not taking enough serious action about this matter. They seem to only start taking action now, because large advertising companies are threatening to remove their advertisements from any related Google website.
This is a bigger deal for smaller companies, such as Lyft, because their target audience is a younger generation. YouTube is a big platform for them to advertise on. They are losing a lot of potential customers by removing their ads because they do not want be associated with the types of advertisements that Google is sharing on their websites.