Stock Falls As AT&T, Verizon, Others Join Google, YouTube Boycott
Shares of Google struggled on Thursday, continuing a multi-day downward trend. The drop came as a growing number of major advertisers boycotted Google and YouTube after it was revealed that their ads have appeared alongside videos promoting terrorism and offensive content.
AT&T, Verizon, Johnson & Johnson, GSK and Enterprise Holdings are among the U.S. companies who have pledged to stop all ad spending on Google except for search. That means no ads on YouTube and the two million sites that are part of Google's ad network.
In the UK, more than 250 organizations including the British government, Toyota and McDonald’s have stopped advertising on YouTube, according to The Times, whose investigation triggered the global boycott.
The ad boycott could cost Google hundreds of millions of dollars. That prospect sent Google stock down for the fifth straight day Thursday to $839.65.
When asked if Google can ensure that ads won't be placed with offensive content, co-founder Eric Schmidt said: "We can't guarantee it but we can get pretty close."