GOOGLE’S top executive in Europe has apologised to companies whose adverts appeared next to “extremist material” on YouTube.

Google ‘sorry’ over adverts next to ‘EXTREMIST MATERIAL’ on YouTube

This came as Marks & Spencer became the latest firm to pull its ads over the issue.

Other films to pull its advertisements include HSBC, Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland, BBC, Channel 4 and McDonald’s.

Matt Brittin, Google’s head of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said today: “I want to apologise to anyone affected.”

He also said its “automatic filtering system” for placing adverts would be improved.

I want to apologise to anyone affected

Matt Brittin

An M&S spokesman also said today: “In order to ensure brand safety we are pausing activity across Google platforms while the matter is worked through.”

The Cabinet Office has also put a restriction on YouTube advertising “pending reassurances from Google that Government messages can be delivered in a safe, appropriate way”.

Google’s UK managing director, Ronan Harris, has admitted it “can and must do more” to combat what it called “bad advertising”.

He said: “We will make changes in the coming weeks to give brands more control over where ads appear.”

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