The Ministry of Information and Communication has 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 Truong Minh Tuan issued the advice at a meeting on March 16 with major brands, saying that online advertising is an inevitable trend but also implies risks, especially when inadequate attention is paid 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,” the minister was quoted as saying by online newspaper vnexpress.net.
Tuan said that it is not only a problem for the advertising industry of Vietnam, but also for the global industry.
What is more alarming is that running advertisements on clips with questionable content could help owners of those accounts earn money, which indirectly encourages them to upload more, a representative from Qnet said.
Nguyen Thanh Lam, Director of the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information, cited statistics that as of March 16, 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.
Lam said that the department is working with Google, which owns YouTube, to remove such clips, and to date, only 42 have been removed.
At the March 16 meeting, all major brands including Vinamilk, Ford Vietnam, VinHome, Sungroup and Unilever Vietnam, said that they had stopped advertising on YouTube after receiving the Ministry of Information and Communication’s request.
They also said that they will not resume advertising until ad agencies develop 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 is necessary in filtering and preventing the appearance of ads in toxic clips.
Online newspaper vneconomy.vn reported that Google has sent an official response late on March 16, saying that YouTube has clear policies for governmental requests for content removal.
A YouTube spokesperson also said that the company does not comment on specific cases, but it will continue working with the Government of Vietnam and is always willing to receive questions or concerns from the Government, according to the newspaper.
The ministry called on 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.