Verizon stopped purchasing YouTube ads about five months ago because of some very serious concerns regarding what type of content their ads were being paired up with. YouTube has no simple way to ensure only desirable content is surrounding the ads.
To fix that issue, Verizon has hired Integral Ad Science to analyze the ads and their placement and what content is around them. This will help to ensure the ads are seen by real people, and also that the content surrounding them is only appropriate in the eyes of the company.
At this point, Verizon is just starting to move back into YouTube ads with a fairly small budget, but if all goes well, they are expected to ramp up their ad spend on this platform to the levels where it was in the past.
John Nitti, the Chief Media Officer at Verizon, said of this issue, “This is an overall industry issue that Verizon is trying to address across the board, not just with Google and YouTube, but with all of our partners. The need to have consistency and measurement and for us to deploy the Verizon standard is pinnacle to get to the transparency that every marketer deserves.”
It is not clear what Verizon did with the significant amount of their marketing budget that was going to YouTube for the last five months. Nitti said, “Obviously, for that period of time we had to find other video inventory sources to reach the target segments, but I can’t divulge our video buying strategy for our competitors.”
Verizon is the 6th largest ad spender in the US with a reported budget of $2.7 billion across all media in 2016.