Major brands act to have their ads removed from Alex Jones’ YouTube channel

Image: ben jackson/Getty Images for SiriusXM

The hits keep on coming for Alex Jones.

Associating with Jones and his Infowars website is a bad look unless you’re a Donald Trump-stanning conspiracy theorist. So when a bunch of brands discovered their ads were running on YouTube accounts associated with Jones, they all had roughly the same response: lolno.

Nike, Moen, Expedia, Acer, ClassPass, Honey, Alibaba, and OneFamily all suspended their ads running on Infowars-connected YouTube channels after CNN reached out for comment. With the exception of Alibaba, which didn’t comment, all of those companies claimed they weren’t aware their ads had been appearing on The Alex Jones Channel.

It’s not unusual for online ads to appear in unexpected places. Companies pay interests like YouTube for ad placement based on broad user demographics. An advertising company can use filters to make sure an ad doesn’t appear somewhere it shouldn’t, but that’s a manual process.

In spite of this, CNN’s queries raised concern among some brands, since there are behind the scenes checkboxes for filtering ad placement out from destinations that deal in “sensitive” subjects, such as “Tragedy and Conflict” or “Sensitive Social Issues.”

Concerned brands such as Nike or Acer expressed confusion to CNN over the fact that their ads appeared on The Alex Jones Channel. “Existing filters should have prevented this,” an Acer spokesperson told the news network.

YouTube didn’t respond to CNN’s request for comment.

This is the second time Alex Jones’ controversial YouTube presence has made headlines in the past week. On Tuesday, the Alex Jones Channel received its second “Community Guidelines Strike.” If one more is doled out within three months of the first strike — which came on Feb. 23 — YouTube will terminate the channel.

“As our community guidelines outline, YouTube is not a platform for things like predatory behavior, stalking, threats, harassment, bullying, or intimidation,” YouTube’s notice to Infowars, shared on Twitter by Will Sommer, reads. 

“We take this issue seriously and there are no excuses for such behavior. We remove comments, videos, or posts where the main aim is to maliciously harass or attack another user.”

UPDATED March 3, 2018, 12:08 p.m. ET An earlier version of this story included a headline that erroneously stated ads were running on Infowars. Infowars is the website belonging to Alex Jones; the ads were in fact appearing on YouTube channels owned by Infowars founder Alex Jones.

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