JAGUAR Land Rover has suspended all digital advertising after an investigation by The Times revealed it was unwittingly funding terror organisations.
As reported yesterday on Driving.co.uk, car makers are among a number of big brands that have been indirectly paying Islamic extremists, white supremacists and pornographers by advertising on their websites and social media channels, such as YouTube, via what is called “programmatic advertising”.
In a statement to Driving.co.uk, Jaguar Land Rover said:
“Jaguar Land Rover is very concerned by reports (9th February 2017) 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.
“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 company said that it is aware of the risks that digital advertising brings and is working in partnership with Mindshare, its paid-for media agency, to develop practices to minimise the risk of its brands being associated with “inappropriate” content. These include thoroughly checked lists of “clean” sites, third party verification technology and checks on surrounding content, according to the statement.
It added: “Where tools are in place to protect our brands, we make every effort to apply them to safeguard our advertising.”
Ads for the Jaguar F-Pace (pictured) and Mercedes-Benz E-class have both appeared on YouTube next to a pro-Isis video that had been viewed more than 115,000 times, but has since been removed by the video sharing website.
An ad for Honda has appeared on extremist videos posted by supporters of groups that include Combat 18, a violent pro-Nazi organisation, and an authorised Nissan dealer’s adverts appear on the official YouTube channels of far-right parties including the British National Party and the English Defence League.
Mercedes said it had asked its media agencies to “review and if necessary update” the blacklist of website terms it uses to prevent ads from appearing in inappropriate places. Honda also said it has a blacklist and that the adverts in question were not placed by Honda UK.