By Stu Woo, Dow Jones Newswires

LONDON — An executive for Alphabet Inc.’s Google apologized on Monday for commercials that appeared before extremist videos on its YouTube site and said it would simplify tools that enable advertisers to control where their ads appear.

Google already provides such controls, but advertisers weren’t using them perhaps because they were too complex, said Matt Brittin, Google’s president for Europe, Middle East and Africa. “If the controls are there but people aren’t using them, that’s our problem,” Brittin said at an Advertising Week conference in London.

Pressure on Google, the world’s biggest advertising platform, has risen after major advertisers, including the U.K. government and the British unit of French advertising giant Havas SA, suspended advertising on YouTube and the Google Display Network last week after a report showing that commercials appeared before videos supporting terrorist groups. On Monday, Marks & Spencer Group PLC became the latest company to suspend its advertising from Google.

Mr. Brittin said he would step up enforcement and review policies to make sure ads don’t inadvertently appear next to inappropriate videos. He said Google wanted to be careful with how it did so because some advertisers, such as news organizations, might want to place ads alongside controversial content. “We want to be thoughtful,” he said, adding that Google would reveal more details soon.

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