Procter & Gamble and Anheuser-Busch are in damage control mode after ads from those companies appeared before an ISIS video on YouTube.
YouTube has 300 hours of content uploaded to its site per minute. So the process that links ads to certain videos on the Google owned site is automated.
“Google’s very good at figuring out what you’re interested in even if you don’t realize it,” says Andrew Stephen, who teaches marketing at the University of Pittsburgh.
Except when it’s not, like in this instance. The algorithms YouTube uses are complicated, but basically they figure out who’s watching certain videos, and slap on ads for things these people might like.
Ari Lightman, who teaches digital media and marketing at Carnegie Mellon University says a company like P&G spends a lot of money cultivating this wholesome family-friendly image.
“And then to have it next to ISIS is just very contrary to what they’re trying to go after,” he says. But when you’re dealing with huge amounts of data, he says, these things are bound to happen.
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