Statement of Robert Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp On Havas Media Group UK Decision To Pull Advertising From Google and YouTube

News Corp Chief Executive Robert Thomson has responded to news of the Havas Media Group UK withdrawing advertising from Google and YouTube by noting that advertisers “need to go back to basics to protect their brands from serious damage.”

“Ad fraud is being perpetrated ad nauseam. It is rife throughout the digital world, and is facilitated by some ad agencies, which themselves make money from artificial audiences and pretend page views,” said Mr. Thomson. “Advertisers need to go back to basics to protect their brands from serious damage and to protect themselves from being involved in potentially criminal activity, whether it be supporting extremist groups or funding hardcore pornography.”

Mr. Thomson has been a longtime evangelist for the view that large tech platforms are “platforms for piracy” and fail to respect the fact that “there is a hierarchy of journalism.”

Excerpts of past remarks by Mr. Thomson:

Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference, March 1, 2017
“Well, provenance is profoundly important and it’s becoming increasingly important to advertisers. Because you’ve seen the articles of late, The Times of London, they did a brilliant series on companies like Land Rover pulling out of digital and social because it is concerned about their ad placement on completely unacceptable sites….”

News Corp Earnings, February 9, 2017
“…We are in an era in which integrity is priceless, yet digital distributors have long been a platform for the fake, the faux and the fallacious, highlighting an issue which we have long stressed – that they have eroded the integrity of content by undermining its provenance. Put simply, content distributors are profiting at the expense of content creators and at the expense of veracity.

….And in the ad market, there has been an awakening, and there will surely be a reckoning.

Advertisers want reassurance that their products are displayed in suitable surroundings – they don’t want muddled metrics and they don’t want digital platforms and ad agencies arbitraging ambiguity.

The dangers of Chief Marketing Officers chasing fashion rather than function was highlighted in The Times of London today – some of the world’s best-known, most prestigious brands are inadvertently funding extremists and hardcore pornographers.
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