Marie Curie suspends all YouTube advertising after terror funding claim

The charity said it had put on hold a 'significant proportion' of digital advertising activity after claims were made in The Times newspaper last week

Marie Curie advert appears on Combat 18 video
Marie Curie advert appears on Combat 18 video

Marie Curie has suspended a "significant proportion" of its digital advertising activity, including all of its adverts on YouTube, after its promotions appeared alongside extremist videos.

The charity said last week it was investigating after The Times newspaper reported that it was among a host of big-name brands, including Waitrose, Mercedes-Benz and Argos, that had unknowingly had their advertisements published on videos posted by terrorist or extremist groups.

None of the brands were aware that their adverts were appearing on the videos, which The Times said could be generating tens of thousands of pounds a month for extremists.

An advertisement appearing alongside a YouTube video earns whoever posts the clip a share of any advertising revenue, which can typically work out at between about £4 and £6.40 for every 1,000 views, the newspaper said.

An advert inviting people to volunteer for Marie Curie had appeared as a pop-up underneath a video posted by the pro-Nazi group Combat 18, The Times reported. 

A spokesman for Marie Curie, which supports people with terminal illnesses and their families, said today: "I can confirm that we have paused a significant proportion of our digital advertising activity, including a complete suspension of YouTube, while we review the robustness of the monitoring in place."

A spokesman for Google, which owns YouTube, said the company did not comment on the decisions of individual advertisers. 

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