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Shira Ovide

Google Needs to Protect Its Ad Golden Goose

It can't afford to ignore the grumblings from its top customers.

I'm sure you've read Bloomberg's excellent coverage of the semi-boycott of Google ads over advertisements that are placed on offensive YouTube videos. Google is no stranger to controversy about the quality of content and where it serves ads, but this latest tempest exposes a deep problem.

This is what happens when Google, Facebook and the whole industry allow longstanding flaws with digital advertising to fester. Ads running next to objectionable or faked content, bogus measurement of ad views, creepy collection of personal information or downright annoying ads have been a problem for as long as the web has existed. Remember those pop-up mortgage ads from the 1990s? (Or am I too old?)