Rihanna’s controversial music video irks advertisers [VIDEO]

Rihanna’s latest music video B***h Better Have My Money has earned the ire of several companies who are pulling their ads from appearing before the music video.

According to an article on Daily Mail UK, tourism company Kuoni and retail business group the Co-operative Group have told video streaming site Vevo to put an end to their ads playing before the video. However, the article noted that adverts from brands such as Vodafone and KFC are still running ahead of the track.

Kuoni Travel said that the company has a policy not to advertising on explicit content and hence was withdrawing their support for the video. Meanwhile, a spokesperson from co-op said this video was not content that the company wanted to be associated with.

The seven minute song, uploaded on 1 July, has been viewed over 18 million times on RihannaVEVO channel on YouTube. Vevo is a video hosting service which is owned and operated by a joint venture of Universal Music Group (UMG), Google, Sony Music Entertainment (SME) and Abu Dhabi Media.

The video and depicts highly explicit content such as nudity, murder and sexual violence. The video shows Rihanna firing a gun on a woman trapped in a pool with her mouth shut. The video ends with the blood soaked naked Rihanna rolling in money.

Watch the video here (Warning: video may be NSFW)


With the rise of RTB and evolving media buying scene, many a times, marketers are not always the most aware as to where their ads are being place. (Read also: Can you always control where your ad ends up?)

Programmatic head, Sandeep Bastikar of IPG Mediabrands told Marketing that today programmatic marketing is sophisticated enough to give brands means to ensure that they are not being seen in inappropriate content sites or networks.

“As brand stewards, we have already put in measures to ensure responsible advertising through programmatic buying. At IPG we use multiple layers of filtering to ensure and maintain that there is no way a brand’s advertising appears on any such site(s). Our programmatic trading desk always maintain and update universal and custom black lists for all our campaigns and moreover, we also leverage brand safety solutions to avoid placements on pages with inappropriate content,” he said.

In an earlier article, Lucy Jacobsen, director – digital media of Dentsu Mobius said it is the responsibility of reputable publishers, ad exchanges and networks to utilise available technology to ensure brand safety. Agencies should also play their part by asking about the capabilities and limitations of the technology being used by their suppliers, she added.

Google declined to comment on whether more advertisers have decided to pull their ads from playing alongside the video.

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