After their ad was denied, gay creators are fighting for systemic change at YouTube

Chris Knight and Celso Dulay wanted to run an ad on YouTube marketing a special Christmas episode of their LGBTQ-focused YouTube show in December 2017. But after more than six days and several phone calls to YouTube’s advertising team, Knight and Dulay’s ad was denied for “shocking content.”

It wasn’t until January 2018, long after Christmas was over, and personal intervention from YouTube’s public affairs team, that Knight and Dulay say their ad was approved.

This “egregious” event is what led Knight and Dulay, who operate a YouTube news channel called GNews! that’s dedicated to covering LGBTQ issues, to launch a lawsuit against the company for discriminatory practices against LBGTQ+ people, who are “considered a protected group by California law,” Knight told The VergeThe Verge obtained an audio recording of the conversation between Dulay and two members of Google’s AdWords team, which confirmed Dulay and Knight’s statements. A YouTube spokesperson declined to comment on the recording.

During the call, Dulay spoke with both a customer service representative and their manager about running the ad. The manager told Dulay that because the video contained “any content about sexuality or anything like that,” it would “actually violate the policies of AdWords under ‘shocking content.’” When Dulay pressed the manager on whether that meant “content about gay people” in general, he was told yes.

It wasn’t until Dulay and Knight got in touch with higher-ups at YouTube, including members of the company’s public affairs team, that anything changed. Dulay and Knight say they spoke to Alex Krasov, a Google public affairs lead, who told them that “sometimes we make mistakes, which is why we encourage creators to appeal when they encounter issues.” ….[Read More]

Roger Chiocchi

A life-long advertising and marketing professional, Roger is VP-Marketing at Signature Brand Factory. Prior to that he spent 20+ years on Madison Ave as a Sr. VP at Young & Rubicam and President of Y&R subsidiary, The Lord Group.



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