Nestle and other brands pull YouTube ads over child exploitation fears

Nestle and other major companies have pulled their ads from YouTube after a video blogger raised concerns that pedophiles were using the platform to trade in...

Posted: Feb 21, 2019 10:28 AM

Nestle and other major companies have pulled their ads from YouTube after a video blogger raised concerns that pedophiles were using the platform to trade information and draw attention to clips of young girls.

In a 20-minute video that has been viewed about 1.9 million times since Sunday, blogger Matt Watson said the comments sections on some YouTube posts that featured girls performing things like gymnastics or yoga were being exploited by "a soft-core pedophilia ring."

The videos themselves appeared to have been made with innocent intentions. But some users made suggestive comments and highlighted moments in which girls were in "compromising positions," according to Watson. He said some of the videos on the platform, which is owned by Google, carried ads for top brands including Disney.

Nestle, the owner of brands like Kit-Kat and Nespresso, decided to "pause" its advertising on YouTube after some of its ads were shown on videos "where inappropriate comments were being made," a company spokesperson said.

Epic Games, the maker of the wildly popular game Fortnite, has "paused all pre-roll advertising" on YouTube and "reached out to Google/YouTube to determine actions they'll take to eliminate this type of content from their service," according to a company spokesperson.

The furor over the child videos is a fresh blow to YouTube's reputation for policing sensitive content. Big brands have temporarily yanked their advertising from the platform in previous years after ads appeared next to extremist content.

As online anger built over the issue raised by Watson, YouTube "took immediate action by deleting accounts and channels, reporting illegal activity to authorities and disabling comments on tens of millions of videos that include minors," said a spokesperson for the video platform.

"There's more to be done, and we continue to work to improve and catch abuse more quickly," the spokesperson added.

Other brands that halted advertising on YouTube include Dr. Oetker, the German food giant that sells desserts, frozen pizzas and baking products.

Dr. Oetker asked YouTube "to explain how it could happen that advertising of our company was placed in an environment that we strictly reject and consider highly reprehensible ethically," the company said in a statement. It added that it expects YouTube to "immediately remove from its site any contributions that threaten the integrity and protection of minors."

Disney has also suspended its advertising on YouTube, according to Bloomberg, which cited unidentified people with knowledge of the matter. Disney didn't respond to repeated requests for comment from CNN Business.

The Nestle spokesperson expressed optimism that YouTube would be able to tackle the problems quickly, noting that the inappropriate content affected "an extremely low volume" of the company's ads.

"We have received reassuring information from Google on temporary actions being taken and will revise our decision upon confirmation of those actions and our investigation being completed," the spokesperson said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 49575

Reported Deaths: 2739
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11812690
Lake5337247
Elkhart343257
Allen2867133
St. Joseph202569
Cass16439
Hamilton1629101
Hendricks1439100
Johnson1306118
Porter78038
Tippecanoe7439
Clark67144
Madison66864
Vanderburgh6296
LaPorte59727
Bartholomew59245
Howard58258
Kosciusko5654
Marshall5217
Noble49128
LaGrange4829
Jackson4773
Delaware46052
Boone45944
Hancock45736
Shelby43425
Floyd39144
Morgan32831
Monroe31528
Grant30226
Montgomery29720
Henry29316
Dubois2906
Clinton2882
White26810
Decatur25532
Lawrence25125
Dearborn24723
Vigo2408
Warrick23229
Harrison21722
Greene19132
Miami1892
Jennings17912
Putnam1708
DeKalb1634
Scott1628
Daviess15017
Wayne1496
Perry1409
Orange13623
Steuben1332
Franklin1278
Jasper1252
Ripley1247
Wabash1152
Carroll1122
Fayette1037
Gibson1032
Newton9910
Whitley995
Starke963
Huntington822
Randolph804
Wells791
Jefferson782
Fulton731
Jay680
Washington671
Pulaski661
Knox650
Clay644
Rush603
Owen511
Adams491
Posey490
Benton480
Spencer461
Sullivan451
Brown421
Blackford392
Fountain332
Crawford320
Tipton311
Switzerland280
Parke240
Martin220
Ohio210
Vermillion170
Warren151
Union130
Pike110
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 61331

Reported Deaths: 3006
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin11122439
Cuyahoga8518383
Hamilton6396206
Lucas2859304
Marion273739
Montgomery228335
Summit2269209
Pickaway220641
Mahoning1885239
Butler172147
Columbiana132460
Stark1171114
Lorain107368
Trumbull101474
Warren91825
Clark78410
Delaware64515
Fairfield61417
Tuscarawas59010
Belmont55822
Lake55122
Medina54832
Licking53612
Miami48631
Portage47759
Wood46151
Ashtabula43844
Clermont4367
Geauga41543
Wayne36752
Richland3595
Allen33841
Greene3009
Mercer29410
Erie26022
Darke25326
Holmes2524
Huron2342
Madison2069
Ottawa16124
Sandusky14215
Washington14220
Crawford1375
Ross1363
Putnam13315
Coshocton1323
Hardin12312
Morrow1201
Auglaize1094
Jefferson952
Muskingum921
Union921
Athens911
Monroe8917
Hancock841
Preble811
Hocking798
Lawrence790
Guernsey763
Shelby724
Williams722
Clinton700
Logan661
Fulton650
Ashland621
Wyandot615
Carroll603
Brown591
Scioto560
Defiance543
Knox531
Fayette510
Highland471
Champaign461
Van Wert430
Perry401
Seneca362
Henry320
Jackson270
Paulding270
Pike270
Adams241
Vinton222
Gallia201
Noble130
Harrison121
Meigs120
Morgan110
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Broken Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 81°
Angola
Broken Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 75°
Huntington
Overcast
78° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 80°
Decatur
Broken Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 81°
Van Wert
Broken Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 81°
Breezy, Sunny Saturday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events