Google Bans Conservative Party YouTube Ad With BBC Material

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits a Christmas market whilst on the General Election campaign, in Salisbury, England, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. Britain goes to the polls on Dec. 12. (Hannah McKay/Pool Photo via AP)

Google has taken down a U.K. Conservative Party ad on YouTube that used BBC news footage, days after Facebook took similar action on grounds that it infringed intellectual property rights.

The BBC has complained about the ad, saying it used material featuring some of its journalists that was taken out of context and could damage its reputation for impartiality.

The U.S. tech giant’s political ad archive carried an apparent listing for the ad, with a message that the video is “no longer available due to a claim by the BBC.”

The listing said the ad was shown up to 1 million times.

“When a copyright holder notifies us of a video that infringes on their copyright, we remove the content promptly in accordance with the law,” Google said in a statement. “In this instance, we removed this video following a copyright claim by BBC News.”

British political parties are pushing the boundaries of internet campaigning in the upcoming general election, testing election laws written for a time when campaigns pushed mass-produced leaflets through mail slots, rather than using individually targeted online messages.