Marks and Spencer pulls advertising from Google over extremist content

Helen Cahill
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M&S has become the latest to make a move to protect its brand identity (Source: Getty)
arks and Spencer has become the latest firm to pull its advertising from Google after reports that it has been allowing adverts for UK companies to appear on extremist websites.

A recent investigation by the Times showed that UK advertisements, from the likes of Sainsbury's, RBS and the UK government, have been posted on YouTube videos uploaded by extremists, as well as on websites belonging to terrorist groups.

Read more: RBS and HSBC pull Google ad spend as pressure mounts over extremist content

Google was subsequently hauled in front of Cabinet Office officials to explain itself, and yesterday, RBS, HSBC and Lloyds cut their Google ad spend in light of the revelations.

Now, M&S has followed suit, and said in a statement:

In order to ensure brand safety, we are pausing activity across Google platforms whilst the matter is worked through.

Jamie Gavin, MD of an independent media company told the BBC's Wake up to Money: "Brands do have to take a bit of responsibility themselves."

A spokesperson from Google said last week that the firm is "committed to doing better".

And indeed, many brands are taking things into their own hands and cutting ties with Google. Big names that have removed their adverts include:

  • RBS
  • HSBC
  • Lloyds
  • Marks and Spencer
  • ​French advertising group Havas, which sells ads for O2, Royal Mail, the BBC and Dominos
  • Transport for London
  • The Guardian
  • Channel 4
  • L'Oreal
  • Ministry of Defence

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