One of Google's top executives has stated that YouTube's recent ad problem is a very small one and has simply been blown out of proportion. In an interview with Recode, Google's Philipp Schindler stated that the problem of advertisements appearing alongside extremist content has been an ongoing yet small issue for YouTube. However, it became a major headache for Google when major media outlets like The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal placed the issue into the spotlight, which resulted in many advertisers suspending their promotional campaigns on YouTube. Some of the high-profile advertisers that pulled their ads from YouTube include the BBC, Johnson & Johnson, L'Oreal, AT&T, and Verizon.
While Google maintains that the problem of ads being placed next to extremist content isn't a major, widespread issue, it still scrambled to find ways to prevent similar incidents from occurring. Among other things, the company started using a new software that tracks down five times more videos that may not be suitable for advertisements, Schindler revealed. The company is also improving its response times in situations when somebody flags a video for inappropriate content and is now allowing advertisers to completely avoid inappropriate videos when setting up their campaigns. More specifically, Google has introduced three new filters for advertisers which can be used for avoiding objectionable content. These filters include "sexually suggestive," "sensational and shocking," and "profanity and rough language," all of which complement the already existing filters called "tragedy and conflict" and "sensitive social issues." YouTube is also looking to modify community guidelines regarding hate and harassment, which may further restrict the kind of content allowed on the video platform.
Despite the lengthy list of companies that have pulled their ads from YouTube in recent weeks, Google is not expected to see a major drop in its revenue. YouTube and Google's Display Network contribute around 10 percent of the gross revenue of the search giant, with the majority of Google's earnings still coming from the ads promoted by its search business. Last year, Google cornered a major share of search advertising dollars in the United States, which translates to approximately $24 billion in revenue, so it's unlikely the company will suffer long-term consequences of the ordeal outlined above.