Marketers and their agencies have also learned more about the types of content that they may want to avoid. For example, Ms. Carter said, AT&T looks to avoid gaming videos, where the chances of unsavory chatter and behavior may increase.
“Having to have more subscribers and more viewing hours has really helped with eliminating fringe content that we might not want to advertise against,” she said.
In AT&T’s latest test of YouTube’s Brand Suitability System, which avoids categories like violence, extremist and hate speech, and adult content, almost zero ads ran alongside offensive content.
In April, Procter & Gamble, the world’s biggest advertiser, confirmed that it was returning to YouTube after they worked together “extensively” to ensure that its ads would be placed in appropriate environments.
Procter & Gamble spent $2.8 billion on ads in 2017, according to data from Kantar Media. AT&T, the second-biggest advertiser in the United States, spent $2.4 billion in the same period.
“Over the past year, we’ve worked hard to address concerns raised by our customers,” Debbie Weinstein, vice president of YouTube Video Global Solutions, said in a statement. “We’re committed to retaining their trust in YouTube, and ensuring they can realize the unique value of our platform.”
YouTube has an enormous audience of viewers in their teens and 20s, and Ms. Carter said on Thursday that she was keen to reach that group again. She added, however, that AT&T and its agency would continue testing to make sure its guidelines were being met.
“Technological advancements mean you have to be on your game and you have to be constantly vigilant in this area,” Ms. Carter said.