A collective of New Zealand’s most prominent companies is set to pull ads from Facebook and Google after a gunman live-streamed his massacre of 50 people at two Christchurch mosques.
The night of the massacre, the shooter Australian Brenton Tarrant streamed a 17-minute video depicting his shooting rampage in real time to Facebook, with the video also uploaded to YouTube a short time after the Christchurch shootings.
The New Zealand Herald said on Monday that the collective, including ASB Bank, Lotto NZ, Burger King, Spark, has come together to take a stand against the harm caused by unmoderated content on the Internet. It’s understood that marketing managers from the different companies spoke over the weekend about what they could do promote change in the industry.
YouTube has also lost some advertisers at least temporarily in recent years over cases of ads appearing near videos with violent content, hate speech or, most recently, comments by pedophiles. Most have returned as YouTube took measures to provide a “brand-safe” environment.
This is not the first time New Zealand companies have pulled ads from these platforms. Only several weeks ago, Spark pulled all its advertising from YouTube over concerns about paedophilic content targeted at children. Spark’s move was part of an international response, which also saw Disney and Nestle pull ads from the site. Spark corporate relations lead Andrew Pirie confirmed to the Herald today that the telco was in talks with other companies, but had not yet finalized details of the action it would take.