Tuesday, August 31, 2010

YouTube Fixes Problem I Pointed Out Months Ago: Update on YAZ Case Study

In January, I pointed out that drug companies that place product videos on YouTube leave themselves open to association with other videos that poke fun at them, or worse, encourage consumers to join class action lawsuits against the company. The case that I pointed out was the YAZ Birth Control Channel (see "The Trouble with YouTube: YAZ Case Study").

The problem is that you cannot control what other videos may be highlighted by YouTube when your video is played OUTSIDE the channel. In the case of YAZ, for example, when you click on "related videos," what you see are many videos from law firms suing Bayer and spoofs of YAZ TV commercials. Even though Bayer has turned off comments, it cannot prevent viewers from seeing these related videos.

According to an article in AdAge, YouTube may have fixed this problem.

"Enter YouTube's latest feature, 'target excludes,' launching as part of the site's Video Targeting Tool, which gives advertisers the choice to exclude as few as one video they don't want their product associated with as well as specific genres and channels. The feature addresses the most often-criticized aspect of YouTube: You can buy video there, but you never know what you'll get" (see "YouTube Launches Brand Protection Feature").

Today, I revisited the YAZ channel and was greeted with "YazBirthControlPill has no videos available." See image of blank channel below.


It may only be a coincidence that this channel is now blank. Perhaps Bayer has taken down the videos as it looks into using YouTube's new feature? Considering ALL the anti-YAZ videos on YouTube, it must be a monumental task to track them all down and add them to the exclusion list one-by-one. I wonder if there's a app for that?

See More advertiser control on YouTube for the official announcement regarding "target excludes."

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous1:11 PM

    John, this feature is specific to advertising on YouTube. This is a way of making sure that your in-video ad, for instance, is not served on top of an inappropriate video. There is nothing in the statement from YouTube about guaranteeing exclusion of "objectionable" videos from the suggested videos list that is generated for each video.

    It's good, but it's not anywhere near the degree of control that you are suggesting. A feature like you describe would destroy the credibility and usefulness of the search features of YouTube (and of the site as a whole).

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  2. Thanks for your comment. While I do not see in the announcement anything NO guarantee, I suppose you are right cuz there are no guarantees in life. But if you are among Googles' "select advertisers" -- eg, pharmacos -- I am guessing that a wink is as good as a nod.

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