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AT&T pulls out Google ads over offensive content

As the controversy over the ads appearing alongside hate or terrorism videos widens, American telecommunication giant AT&T has decided to pull out its ads from most Google-owned sites.

According to a report in Fortune on Wednesday, the British government and major advertisers in Britain have also temporarily ended their campaigns with Google because the search engine cannot prevent ads being put alongside the offensive content.

"We are deeply concerned that our ads may have appeared alongside YouTube content promoting terrorism and hate," the report quoted AT&T as saying.

"Until Google can ensure this won't happen again, we are removing our ads from Google's non-search platforms," AT&T added.

Earlier this week, Google announced new controls and assured the customers it would end the controversy, but the steps taken so far by the search engine have not convinced the advertisers.

"In the end, there's nothing more important to Google than the trust we've built amongst our users, advertisers, creators and publishers," Philipp Schindler, Google's Chief Business Officer, wrote in a blog post.

"Brand safety is an ongoing commitment for us, and we'll continue to listen to your feedback," Schindler added.

According to a Google spokeswoman, the search engine has started extensive review of advertising policies.

"We have made a public commitment to put in place changes that give brands more control over where their ads appear. We're also raising the bar for our ads policies to further safeguard our advertisers' brands," the spokeswoman was quoted as saying.

The controversy started in Britain after ads from the government, schools, businesses, and others started to appear on YouTube videos and Google ad-supported web sites of offensive groups.

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