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YouTube first digital platform to receive MRC accreditation for protecting advertisers

YouTube has become the first digital platform to receive accreditation from the Media Rating Council (MRC), confirming that it adequately protects advertisers from inappropriate content.

The US-based MRC was founded in the 1960s to measure audiences on media content. It said that it conducted an extensive audit of YouTube and its internal standards for determining which videos are suitable to receive advertising.

The Google-owned video platform had faced intense scrutiny back in 2017, when it emerged that ads from major advertisers were appearing on content which contained hate speech. The incident – dubbed the Adpocalypse by the YouTube community – saw advertisers including Mars, Adidas, HP, and Deutsche Bank pull ads from YouTube, and many creators saw a significant drop in their income as a result. 

Since then, YouTube has periodically reviewed its terms of service to tighten restrictions on monetisable content. While this has been criticised by creators who say that YouTube does not draw a distinction between content that is genuinely questionable and videos that condemn said questionable behaviour, the move has evidently been received positively by advertisers.

Upon review, the MRC said that YouTube met various standards, and that ads appear on less than 1% of inappropriate videos – a figure deemed ‘immaterial’ by the body.

Debbie Weinstein, vice president of YouTube and video global solutions at Google, said: “We’re particularly humbled to be the first platform to achieve the accreditation.”