The Australian government has joined the YouTube advertiser boycott

Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Picture: Getty Images (File)

The Australian federal government has reportedly pulled its advertising from Google’s YouTube video platform, joining a list of hundreds of clients worldwide.

The boycott has been triggered by ads being automatically served alongside offensive and undesirable content, such as speeches by radical Islamic preachers and propaganda for militant Islamic groups.

The Australian Financial Review reported the government made the decision on Thursday night, and that the decision was a pre-emptive move as it was not aware of its advertisements appearing alongside offensive content. The British government made a similar decision this month, starting a rush to the exits from YouTube clients.

According to the AFR:

In a statement for the Special Minister of State Scott Ryan said: “the Australian Government has decided to make immediate changes to its advertising placement policy and is suspending non-corporate campaign advertising on YouTube.”

Non-corporate advertising refers to entities such as government departments and agencies, while corporate refers to government businesses like NBN and Australia Post.

“It echoes concerns of other major advertisers around the world, including the UK Government, that automated online advertising placement programs could inadvertently result in the Australian Government’s advertisements appearing alongside inappropriate content.

“In taking these steps the Australian Government is also preventing any taxpayer funds inadvertently flowing to unsavoury organisations through the YouTube platform.”

Business Insider reported this week that one analyst believes the boycott, which now involves more than 250 brands, could cost Google more than $US250 million.

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