British multinational auto company Jaguar Land Rover has suspended all of its UK digital advertising, amid reports that it is one of a number of big brands to be indirectly paying Islamic extremists, white supremacists and pornographers, according to Driving.co.uk.
The Times revealed that ‘hundreds of large companies’, including Mercedes-Benz, Waitrose and Marie Curie, have advertisements appearing on hate sites and terror group YouTube videos. The publication says that, due to the use of programmatic advertising, extremists could be generating thousands of pounds a month.
“Jaguar Land Rover is very concerned by reports that advertising featuring our brands may benefit extremist and other inappropriate on-line media. This is an unintended consequence of algorithm technology used on some video-sharing websites,” Jaguar Land Rover said in a statement.
“We take our brands’ reputation very seriously and have decided to stop all UK digital advertising activity until further investigation gives us assurance that we can resume it safely.”
The brand is said to be working with Mindshare, its paid-for media agency, to minimise the risk of being associated with controversial content.
On the back of the revelations, MPs have called on Google to explain how and why extremists are making money from advertising on its YouTube platform. Google must approve users to make money from advertising.
“This is deeply disturbing,” said Chuka Umunna, a member of the home affairs select committee. “There is no doubt the social media companies could be doing far more to prevent the spread of extremist content.”