INTERNATIONAL – AT&T said Friday it will again buy advertising on Alphabet's YouTube, nearly two years after the US wireless carrier left the video platform when it discovered its ads may have appeared next to inappropriate content.
AT&T is one of the largest US brand marketers by total ad spend, according to research firm eMarketer, and its return caps off a tumultuous period for YouTube beginning in March 2017, when major advertisers including Verizon Communications and Johnson & Johnson, left the platform after their ads played during videos featuring hate speech or other disturbing material.
As brands eventually returned to YouTube, AT&T remained a major advertiser that held back.
After 22 months of working closely with Google, AT&T said it was confident “that there is a near-zero possibility” its ads could end up appearing next to inappropriate or unapproved content on YouTube, Fiona Carter, AT&T’s chief brand officer, said in an interview.
Increased human review of videos and improved machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) within YouTube helped AT&T decide to return, Carter said.