French ad group Havas says only UK unit pulling adverts from Google

PARIS (Reuters) - French advertising group Havas said on Friday that it would not pull advertising from Alphabet Inc’s Google platforms on a global basis, after its British business suspended activity with the U.S. company over concerns about its YouTube website.

The British government had been expected to question Google executives on Friday on why ads marketing government services were appearing alongside videos carrying hate speech and extremist content on YouTube.

The Guardian newspaper reported that Havas had decided to pull all its advertising from Google and YouTube, citing Havas UK chief Paul Frampton.

However, Havas Chief Executive Yannick Bollore tweeted that he had been unaware of its British unit’s decision. A spokeswoman later said the rest of the group would not follow suit.

“The decision of our UK team to pause activity with our partner Google is a temporary move made by the local team on behalf of our UK clients and their specific needs,” she said in an emailed statement.

“We are working with Google to resolve the issues so that we can return to using this valuable platform in the UK.”

Google said early on Friday in a statement that it worked hard to prevent ads from appearing on pages or videos with “hate speech, gory or offensive content” and that it had launched a review to give brands more control over where their ads appeared.

Reporting by Gwenaelle Barzic and Michel Rose; Editing by David Goodman and Richard Chang