What if you ran an ad for your private practice or hospital online only to find it was running alongside a hate site? Could patients be associating your brand with offensive, divisive content?
Unfortunately, there’s no organized “neighborhood watch” in the digital landscape. We all know the internet can be a place where people feel empowered to post their controversial ideas. And sometimes, businesses inadvertently find themselves side-by-side with content that only exists to spread hateful or even dangerous speech. In other words, your online advertisements can end up in the wrong part of town.
This week, one of the largest advertisers in the world, Unilever, made a powerful statement to Google and Facebook: clean up your ad placements or face the consequences. What power does your healthcare practice have in preventing ads from stumbling into these dangerous online sites?
Advertising giant Unilever claims that companies like Google and Facebook are failing to control their content, with no means of ensuring family-friendly brands are not associated with hateful remarks. That’s right, the corporation in charge of everything from Dove to Ben & Jerry’s is threatening to yank its ads from the two biggest media platforms in the world.
But this isn’t the first time Google has faced some major “techlash” from advertisers. Ads for soda pop or detergent displayed on videos of racist rants or exploitative content lead big names like PepsiCo and Walmart to take action and pull their ads from YouTube in 2017.
Google and Facebook have responded to the backlash in a number of ways, promising to give advertisers more control and work with brands like Unilever to support their commitment to safe-neighborhood sites.
And yet, this hasn’t been enough of a change for some of the world’s biggest spenders in advertising. Rather than simply changing algorithms (which content creators can ultimately find ways to work around), top brands believe huge companies should be using real people to monitor content given advertising revenue.
When ads run alongside questionable content, companies inadvertently support the content creators through third-party ad revenue. No doctor’s office or hospital wants to be tied to a hateful YouTube rant or explicit content.
But is pulling your ads from Facebook and Google the answer? When 72% of the market share of searches come through Google, the loss of advertising opportunities and revenue could be catastrophic.
We don’t think it’s up to healthcare organizations like yours to take this hit.
Let brands like Unilever and PepsiCo, who have billion-dollar advertising budgets, be your voice when it comes to pulling ads from potentially volatile sites. In the meantime, take the right steps to boost your own reputation so you don’t have to worry about any misconceptions of your practice.
Targeted healthcare marketing helps to take the mystery out of your ad campaigns. When you have a solid digital marketing plan in place, you don’t have to worry about your brand taking a hit if ads appear in a questionable market. Here’s what you can do:
We’ve said it before: the Internet is healthcare’s front door. You want to make sure there’s a friendly face waiting for you on the other side. Working with the right team of marketing professionals is usually the best type of neighborhood watch in the online world, and we’d love to help you get started.