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The Ministry of Information and Communication urged enterprises to collaborate with the Government in efforts to build a healthy Internet society through advertising only on online channels which comply with established laws.
Minister Trương Minh Tuấn issued the advice at a meeting on Thursday with major brands, saying that online advertising was an inevitable trend but also implied risks, especially inadequate attention to control the appearance of advertising.
The call came several days after advertisements by some major brands accidentally appeared in clips containing pornographic, slanderous or anti-government content on YouTube, the world’s largest online video site.
“It is really worrying, as it badly affects the prestige of brands,” Tuấn said as quoted by online newspaper vnexpress.net.
Tuấn said that this was not only a problem for the advertising industry of Vietnam, but also for the global industry.
What was more alarming was that running advertisements on clips with questionable content could help owners of these accounts earn money, which indirectly encouraged them to unload more, a representative from Qnet said.
Nguyễn Thanh Lâm, Director of the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information, cited statistics that as of Thursday, there were 15 accounts uploading 8,000 clips with immoral content, and attracting nearly 1 million subscribers. Those clips boasted a combined 500 million views.
Lâm said that the department was working with Google, which owns YouTube, to remove such clips, and to date, only 42 had been removed.
At Thursday’s meeting, all major brands including Vinamilk, Ford Việt Nam, VinHome, Sungroup and Unilever Việt Nam, said that they had stopped advertising on YouTube after receiving the Ministry of Information and Communication’s request.
They also said that they would not resume advertising until ad agencies developed comprehensive solutions to ensure compliance with the established laws.
“Through our advertising agents, we have asked Google and YouTube to ensure a safe advertising environment so as to protect businesses’ brands,” a representative from the dairy giant Vinamilk said.
Ad agencies said that when signing contracts with Google to run advertisements for their partners on YouTube, they selected the appearance of ads through key words and categories of clips, adding that the cooperation of Google was necessary in filtering and preventing the appearance of ads in toxic clips.
Online newspaper vneconomy.vn reported that Google had sent an official response late on Thursday, saying that YouTube had clear policies for governmental requests for content removal.
A YouTube spokesperson also said that the company did not comment on specific cases, but it will continue working with the Government of Việt Nam and was always willing to receive questions or concerns from the Government, according to the newspaper.
The ministry called for enterprises to participate in an action programme which includes saying no to advertising on immoral clips, only running advertisements on channels which comply with Vietnamese law, building a healthy Internet society and protecting copyright.