YouTube Advertiser Claims the Site’s Blacklisting “Provocative” Channels and Destroying Their Revenue

A YouTube advertiser has claimed that the video sharing site is effectively blacklisting channels it deems “provocative,” tanking revenue on channels with video titles that include words such as homosexual, hate, burning and son of God, according to the host of the popular YouTube news channel the David Pakman Show.

David Pakman made the claim during a YouTube video, in which he revealed the extent of the detrimental effect the site’s new approach to advertising was having on his channel, stating that he was receiving as little as $0.34  per day from nearly half a million views. Pakman then went on to claim that an advertiser with YouTube had reached out to him, with her saying that she had attempted to advertise on his channel but had been prohibited from doing so.

The letter, reportedly sent by an anonymous YouTube advertiser, claimed that her ads had “consistently had more placements” on Pakman’s videos than any other channels she had advertised with, though recently the David Pakman Show “fell to the bottom” with only six impressions taking place per day. “The daily impressions don’t seem to have changed much for the other channels I advertise in front of, so it was clear it had something to do with your channel specifically,” she continued.

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The unnamed advertiser then claimed that she had contacted AdWords, the advertising service managed by YouTube’s parent company Google, in order to determine why her ads were now rarely showing on Pakman’s videos. A customer service representative reportedly informed her that he believed the issue was a result of Pakman’s video titles being considered “provocative” by YouTube.

“He pointed to words in your titles like homosexual, hate, burning, son of god, etc., which he said might be affecting your advertisement placements,” the advertiser continued. “He did say that right now things are much more stricter than they will be once they get it worked out, and that hopefully the strictness of it will lighten up. But for right now, those are words are apparently big no-no words. Basically anything that sounds “provocative.””


David Pakman of the David Pakman Show. (Credit: YouTube / David Pakman Show)

In response, Pakman noted a selection of videos that had been demonetized on his channel, featuring titles that he believed did not fit YouTube’s “provocative” criteria. These include ‘Trump Signs Away Your Internet Privacy,’ ‘Turns Out Rule That Blocked Obama SCOTUS Nominee Not Really a Rule’ and ‘John Leguizamo Might Be a David Pakman Show Fan!’ Pakman then added that as his YouTube content is also broadcast to his radio station, the show is “so clean that it meets the FCC standards for non-commercial radio stations, which are bound by the strictest FCC regulations. We have not had one problem with our show on any of our 200 non-commercial TV and radio stations.”

YouTube has come under increased scrutiny from advertisers in recent weeks, with major brands such as PepsiCo and McDonald’s withdrawing their support as a result of their ads playing alongside videos linked to terrorism, hate speech and other derogatory content. As a result the site was estimated to lose around $750 million in revenue, prompting a swift response from Google.

However, these strict changes are impacting upon channels that shouldn’t run afoul of its advertising policies, causing widespread panic among its partners. With the site offering very little explanation as to what its future plans are, and whether its advertising revenue streams for partners will regain some semblance of normality in the coming months, YouTubers are being left with nothing to do other than speculate as to what the future holds for their careers on the site.

We have reached out to YouTube for a response. you can watch Pakman’s video below:

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