Google will use artificial intelligence to identify objectionable content and sell 'brand-safe' ads

Google announced that it will be turning to machine learning to help it identify objectionable content, which caused over 250 brands to freeze their ad spend with YouTube and Google display.

In a statement provided to Business Insider, Google said the new tools will “help enforce our revised policies and identify content that may be objectionable to advertisers.”

Google said it would also be offering brand safety reporting by working with third party partners, like Integral Ad Science and comScore.

A Google spokesperson said: “We are working with companies that are MRC-accredited for ad verification on this initiative and will begin integrating these technologies shortly.”

The company also said it would make it easier for advertisers to manage where their ads appear by reducing the review time for flagged videos, exclude specific content from where their ads could appear, and change the default level of brand safety for where ads can appear.

In an interview with Recode Google chief business officer Philipp Schindler said only “very very very small numbers” of ads were running alongside objectionable content.

“And over the last few weeks, someone has decided to put a bit more of a spotlight on the problem,” Schindler said in the interview.

Using the new machine learning tool, Schindler said Google was able to find five times more videos that weren’t brand-safe than before.

WPP-owned media buying agency GroupM announced last week that it is building its own tool to buy brand-safe ads. Omnicom Media Group, which manages media buying for AT&T, Procter & Gamble, and PepsiCo, made a similar announcement on Saturday.

The announcement from Google follows a similar one made late March in response to the advertiser boycott.

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