Pivotal analyst Brian Wieser downgraded Google stock on Monday after an advertiser boycott in the UK, which followed reports that ads from major brands were appearing next to terrorist videos on YouTube.
Wieser downgraded Google’s stock from “buy” to a “hold” after many of the UK’s biggest brands boycotted Google’s advertising network over brand safety fears.
“Alphabet’s Google is facing a serious issue in the UK with brand safety issues, which has global repercussions,” Wieser wrote in the analyst note on Monday.
“Although spending by advertisers who have announced their intention to suspend spending on YouTube and other Google properties is relatively small so far, we think that awareness of the incident will marginally curtail global growth this year vs. prior expectations, leading us to reduce our price target on Alphabet slightly, to $US950 vs. $US970 previously.”
Google’s European boss Matt Brittin said on Monday that the issue of ads appearing next to hate speech on Google-owned sites affected “a handful of impressions and pennies not pounds of spend.”
Here’s the list of brands that have pulled their ads from Google:
- Havas UK clients – the BBC, O2, Domino’s, the Royal Mail and others
- The Guardian
- The UK government
- McDonald’s UK
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Get the latest Google stock price here.