Marks & Spencer has pulled its YouTube advertising over concerns that it might have appeared next to extremist content.

The retailer has followed in the footsteps of banking organisations and the government, which pulled their advertising on the Google-owned video platform after an investigation by The Times found that videos from a range of well-known companies had appeared next to extremist content.

Adverts appearing alongside videos earn content-posters around £6 for every 1,000 clicks.

The Times found that hate preachers, anti-Semites and rape apologists were among those being paid via this model, meaning that organisations may have unwittingly contributed to their income.

An M&S spokesperson said: “In order to ensure brand safety, we are pausing activity across Google platforms whilst the matter is worked through.”

Google EMEA head Matthew Brittin said: “I would like to apologise to our partners and advertisers who might have been affected by their ads appearing on controversial content. We take our responsibilities to these industry issues very seriously.”