Danish companies advertising during Islamist executions
Optician will change online strategy after having an ad appear in an Islamic State recruitment video
It could have been a twisted commercial for an optician. A bearded Islamist points his rifle at a prisoner, shoots and misses his target. A slogan then pops up: "Need glasses?"
But it wasn't. As far as the Danish optician in question, Profil Optik, was concerned, it had simply signed a deal that included having adverts on the video-sharing site Dailymotion.com.
It – along with Nordea Bank – hadn't banked on its advert three times interrupting a 12-minute recruitment video for the the Islamic State (formerly ISIS or ISIL), which contained Islamist propaganda and footage of executions.
"I got a sinking feeling in my stomach when I saw it," Pia Huusfelt, the head of Profil Optik, told DR.
"It's extremely unpleasant and really unfortunate that our name gets associated with such a video that we could never vouch for.
Profil Optik recently hired media agency MEC to oversee its new advertising campaign. MEC then purchased advertising space on video-sharing platforms like YouTube and Dailymotion through the company Smartclip.
Profile Optik wants to target its ads to Danes aged 30 to 60 and it is Smartclip's job to make sure the commercials are played to users matching that target group. However, the online agencies don’t screen the content of the videos that the ad becomes attached to. That is the responsibility of the website.
May quit Dailymotion
The episode with the IS video will change how Profil Optik advertises in the future.
"We don't want this to happen again. If Dailymotion can't guarantee that it will filter out this type of content, we will stop advertising on Dailymotion," Huusfelt told DR.
It wasn’t possible to get Nordea to comment on the IS video.