In February, advertisers including AT&T, Fortnite developer Epic Games, and Disney pulled their marketing dollars from YouTube following the discovery of pedophilic comments being left on seemingly innocent videos of young children.
The en masse exit looked to be the early stages of a second Adpocalypse, and, over the past few weeks, YouTube has been implementing increasingly aggressive policies in an effort to prevent further comments, pump up brand safety, and bring advertisers back into the fold.
Those efforts have apparently paid off for YouTube, because according to Google exec Tara Walpert Levy, the majority of marketers have already resumed advertising on the platform.
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“There were a few folks that paused, and there are a few folks who are left paused, but I think most of them have come back,” Walpert Levy, who’s Google’s vice president of agency and media solutions, told Digiday. Tubefilter reached out to YouTube about which advertisers have resumed marketing, and which remain paused. YouTube said it had nothing further to add beyond Walpert Levy’s statements.
Part of YouTube’s push to make itself safer for brands has been disappointing for some creators. In the wake of the discovery of the inappropriate comments, YouTube disabled comments entirely on nearly all channels that regularly upload content featuring minors. A number of creators have spoken out about this decision, saying it affects their ability to interact with their viewers. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcikci called the loss of comments, which at this point appears to be permanent, a “trade-off” for creators in exchange for ensuring child safety on the platform.