Top brands ordered to stop YouTube ads

By Nguyen Ha    June 10, 2019 | 06:20 pm PT
Top brands ordered to stop YouTube ads
Google has made efforts to block or take down nearly 8,000 toxic videos on YouTube under Vietnamese authorities' requests. Photo by Reuters/Lucy Nicholson
Vietnam has asked leading brands to stop advertising on videos containing ‘reactionary and anti-government’ content on YouTube.

The Broadcasting and Electronic Information Authority under the Ministry of Information and Communications has issued a notification asking a number of domestic companies and major foreign brands, including Samsung Vietnam, Grab, Sun Group, Yamaha, Shopee, VNG, Huawei Vietnam, Watsons, and Thai Tuan Fashion Group Corporation to stop advertising on YouTube videos containing anti-government content.

All the above-mentioned brands are running ads on videos containing anti-government content on the world's largest online video sharing site; and they have to explain their actions to the agency before June 17.

In early 2017, local authorities had discovered the ad displays for products and services from both domestic and foreign businesses on YouTube videos with "toxic, reactionary content" that violate Vietnamese law. The ads were run through Google's advertising service.

As the money earned from these advertisements are shared with the creators of these toxic videos, Google has indirectly abetted anti-state activities, the agency said.

"This is a serious violation of provisions on advertising, a worrying risk that affects the safety and reputation of brands and businesses," a representative of the broadcasting authority said.

Several days ago, Vietnamese authorities publicized another series of violations committed by Google and its video-sharing subsidiary YouTube in Vietnam and said the U.S. tech giant Google has failed to control its ad content and that YouTube videos continued to carry illegal content.

The broadcasting authority found that the previously highlighted issue of advertisements for reputed brands being shown on reactionary, anti-state YouTube videos continued to persist. According to the information ministry, there are still about 55,000 videos with "toxic, illegal" content on YouTube.

Around half of the 90 million people in Vietnam are linked to the Internet. Facebook and Google's YouTube are among the most popular social networks in the country, which has licensed 436 social networking sites and 1,500 websites.

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