Agencies scupper ad hopes of 'unpoliced' YouTube

YouTube will never become a mainstream ad platform unless it polices the millions of user-generated videos on its site, according to digital media agencies.

Some of the UK's biggest digital planning and buying specialists have rounded on Google's plans to implement a commercial strategy for YouTube that will see semi-transparent 'overlay' ads appear on videos on the site.

Agencies claim Google will struggle to make the initiative a success unless it can remove unsuitable video clips. 'Google is a long way from making YouTube a mainstream media buy,' said Rob Horler, managing director of digital shop Diffiniti. 'Advertisers will not write blank cheques to appear in clips they can't control.'

Google will initially make the ads available around professionally-produced content from partners including Universal Pictures, NBC and EMI, for which Lily Allen is a major artist. However, it is expected to extend the model to clips created by consumers.

Digital media agencies claim Google's refusal to monitor clips on YouTube will deter brands from advertising on the site. 'Brands have been put off by illegitimate content and unresolved rights issues,' said Jean-Paul Edwards, head of media futures at Manning Gottlieb OMD.

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