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Jaguar Land Rover in row over adverts funding extremism

Luxury car maker is one of several big names which unknowingly had ads appearing alongside extremist videos

Luxury car maker Jaguar Land Rover has begun advertising online again after it was caught up in a row over funding terror.

The manufacturer was one of a number of major firms which The Times claimed were unwittingly advertising on videos posted online by the likes of Islamic State and East African jihadist group Al-Shabaab.

The newspaper claimed the adverts for the Jaguar F-Pace had appeared on YouTube next to a pro-Islamic State video.

Other firms named by the newspaper as being caught up in the embarrassing episode include Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Waitrose and the charity Marie Curie.

Some advertisers have reportedly blamed programmatic advertising which has automated the process of placing adverts on websites.

The Times claimed the adverts were likely to generate tens of thousands of pounds a month for extremists, with an advert appearing alongside a YouTube video earning terrorists around £6.10 for every 1,000 views.

Some extremist videos have more than one million hits online.

JLR, which employs thousands of people in the Birmingham area, enforced a temporary suspension of all its digital advertising in the UK on February 10, before resuming the following day after a review of its online verification and brand safety processes.

ISBA, an advertising industry body has issued guidelines to firms to try to ensure that adverts were not placed on inappropriate sites.

A statement from JLR said: "Jaguar Land Rover was very concerned by reports in The Times which claimed that advertising featuring our brands might benefit extremist and other inappropriate online media as an unintended consequence of algorithm technology used on some video-sharing websites.

"We take our brands' reputation very seriously and placed a temporary hold on UK digital advertising activity, while seeking and gaining assurance that we could resume it safely.

"We restarted digital advertising on February 11 and continue constructive discussions with YouTube about improved third-party verification on their site. We are aware of the risks that digital advertising brings.

"In partnership with our paid-for media agency Mindshare, we have already invested in developing practices to minimise the risk of our brands being associated with inappropriate content.

"These include thoroughly checked lists of 'clean' sites, third-party verification technology and checks on surrounding content.

"Where tools are in place to protect our brands, we will apply them to safeguard our advertising."

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