Close Menu

Diageo pulls YouTube ads over sexualised videos of children

Diageo is “enforcing an immediate stop” to all its YouTube advertising following a discovery that adverts from some of the world’s biggest brands are shown on videos featuring inappropriate footage of children.

The YouTube videos on which Diageo advertised drew attention from sexual predators

The Johnnie Walker maker is among some of the world’s biggest consumer goods companies to pull its YouTube advertising, alongside Adidas, Amazon, eBay, Mars and a number of others.

An investigation by The Times found adverts from these companies had received millions of views after being posted alongside sexualised videos of children.

Though children themselves uploaded most of these videos, hundreds of paedophiles use the comments section to make lewd suggestions and share links to child abuse.

“We are deeply concerned and are investigating this as a matter of urgency,” a Diageo spokesperson said. “We always insist that our media providers adhere to the most stringent of precautions to ensure our brands do not appear next to inappropriate content.

“As a consequence, we are enforcing an immediate stop of all YouTube advertising until we are confident the appropriate safeguards are in place. We are committed to the highest standards of marketing and have zero tolerance for any circumstances that fall below our strict marketing codes.”

Tony Stower, public and policy affairs manager at the NSPCC, told The Times: “This is yet another example of why it is not good enough for sites like YouTube to be marking their own homework.

“Government intervention is vital to protect children from the moment they sign up to social networks.”

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No