YouTube recently fell victim to a serious PR gaffe in the face of advertisers finding out that their content was presented alongside objectionable material on the platform, and a vast effort was apparently required on Google's part to calm advertisers and convince them not to ditch the platform. According to CEO Sundar Pichai, Google execs were reportedly forced to make a huge amount of phone calls, numbering well into the thousands, to assure advertisers that they were working on fixing the issue, and that their brands would not end up associated with less than friendly content and content producers. Though the fiasco shook analyst and investor confidence, Alphabet still managed to post a stellar first quarter, beating analyst estimates.
After Alphabet put out their first quarter earnings call, they spoke with Wall Street executives, at which time Pichai allegedly revealed that Google had launched a concerted effort to get back into advertisers' good graces. Face to face meetups were in order as well, all while the company took on YouTubers to more sharply define what's acceptable for advertisers and what's not, as well as how the guidelines would be enforced. The mammoth effort was led by chief business officer Phillip Schindler. The sudden crackdown in enforcement of community guidelines for video monetization when it had been lax before caused a backlash of its own. Eventually, Google was able to come out on the other side with the YouTube community shaken, but relatively intact on both sides. On top of Google and YouTube conducting their own crackdown, the platform gave advertisers more control over their ads on the network, which meant that advertisers could pull away from a given YouTuber or video without any word from YouTube.
The saga began with a bang, with major YouTuber PewDiePie coming under heavy fire for a rather crass video that he had posted in the past. From there, it was eventually revealed that the many videos of the same sort that inevitably existed as part and parcel of the platform were not only making their creators money, but were actually gaining placement with major brands' ads, including more high-dollar, longer, and unskippable ads. Once that came to light and reports started circulating around the web, advertisers took to their heels en masse, with some suspending YouTube ads without further ado, and others taking their grievances to Google over the issue. That PR disaster was what brought on the frenzy of damage control played by Google.