Digital Media's Year in the Crosshairs

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Credit: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Marketers turned against digital media before January was out. That's when the world's top advertiser, Procter & Gamble, urged a boycott of digital ads that don't meet higher standards. On what? You name it. Then the press spotlighted ads on horrible videos, sending marketers running. Here's your ever-updating timeline to the Year in Digital Hell, newest events up top.

Snapchat Moves to Create a Safer Environment for Brands May 30
The app seeks outside help.

Marketers Struggle With Viewability IRL, Too May 30
Here's the offline channel with awful viewability.

YouTube Trots Out Kevin Hart, James Corden to Woo Back Brands May 4
A big pitch puts the safest content center-stage.

Forrester Sees Advertiser Revolt as Beginning of the End May 2
This year's pressure will at least bend the rise of digital, an analyst predicts.

Alphabet Rides Mobile Ad Binge, YouTube Boycott Leaves No Mark April 27
YouTube may be too big to fail.

IAB Chief 'Can't Deal With This Shit,' Demands Members Join TAG April 21
The main digital ad group tries to fight ad fraud.

These Brands Slipped Through YouTube's Safety Check April 19
A toothpaste ad follows a murderer's rant.

World Wide Whitelist: Will Brand Safety Strip the Web of Color? April 17
Advertisers may abandon long-tail territory, changing the internet in the process.

YouTube Restricts Ads to Vetted Channels, PewDiePie Declares 'Adpocalypse' April 6
Video channels now need 10,000 lifetime views and an approved application to generate revenue.

On YouTube Live, Pirates Plunder Entire TV Networks April 5
Turn on YouTube most any morning and see a livestream of CNN or ESPN.

YouTube Invites in Safety Inspectors, but Powers Are Limited April 4
"Brand safety vendors are jumping all over this opportunity."

YouTube to Offer Third-Party Brand Safety Tools Following Revolt by Marketers April 3
But even the third parties don't know the details.

Omnicom Will Sort Through YouTube Videos to Make Sure They're Appropriate March 31
Machines and sometimes people will score content before putting it on a whitelist.

As YouTube Tinkers With Ad Formula, Its Stars' Videos Lose Money March 30
New filters let brands block clips in categories like "sensational and shocking."

Who Wins and Who Loses in YouTube's Falling Out With Brands March 28
Some in the ad industry who are likely a little gleeful about YouTube's mess.

J&J and Verizon Join Major Marketers Suspending YouTube Advertising March 22
J&J "takes this matter very seriously."

AT&T Halts YouTube Ad Buys Over Brand Safety Concerns March 22
"Our ads may have appeared alongside YouTube content promoting terrorism and hate."

ANA Calls for Audits at Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Pinterest March 17
The digital advertising platforms have yet to adopt independent audits of ad campaigns.

Havas Freezes All Google and YouTube Ad Spend in the U.K. March 17
Scrunity grows.

Can Big Digital Players Meet P&G's Measurement Deadline? March 13
It's no slam dunk.

On Snapchat, Nudes Can Be Followed by a Word From Our Sponsor March 6
IHOP and "The Lego Batman Movie" pop up popped up among nude videos.

YouTube Promises New Auditing Measures Will Prove Ad Quality Feb. 21
"Progress that will help move the industry forward," P&G's Pritchard says.

Super Bowl Ads Show Up With YouTube Videos Promoting Terror Groups Feb. 12
Hyundai's salute to U.S. troops appears as pre-roll to a video supporting Hezbollah.

P&G Tells Digital to Clean Up, Lays Down New Rules to Get Paid Jan. 30
"The days of giving digital a pass are over," Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard says.

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