Last week I came across an article about Johnson & Johnson and other pharma companies pulling their ads from Youtube because they appeared adjacent to hate speech, e.g.; an anti-Semitic clip claiming the existence of a “Jewish World Order” (see the back story embedded at the end of this post or click here).
In an official statement Johnson & Johnson said it paused all YouTube digital advertising globally “to ensure our product advertising does not appear on channels that promote offensive content. We take this matter very seriously and will continue to take every measure to ensure our brand advertising is consistent with our brand values.”
According to a Bloomberg article, "While Google’s tools can be incredibly sophisticated, allowing ads to follow users from site to site, the software hasn’t fully matched the human judgment necessary to protect brands from inadvertently funneling cash to causes their customers would find objectionable. The high number of intermediaries in digital advertising further complicates the problem. So Google’s announced fixes may not completely solve the challenge."
This problem, however is NOT limited to Google, YouTube, and Facebook. It's also a problem for pharma digital marketers looking to place ads in major online media channels.
A case in point is the Janssen ad embedded in a STATnews story about a immunotherapy "breakthrough" (see image at left).
What's the problem with this and can pharma companies do anything to place limits on digital ad placement by taking account of context?