Google threatens to shut down brand accounts that violate content rules
Google is taking a stricter stance against advertisers that repeatedly break its rules with a new system to ban advertisers that promote “dishonest behavior” and “dangerous products,” among other violating content.
On Tuesday, Google made changes to its policies that target advertisers that dabbled in bad behavior, but didn’t necessarily trigger bans under its older policies. The latest policies open a new tier of penalties for repeat offenders, who previously had ads removed but were able to keep their accounts active. Now, after a warning and three more strikes, advertisers could face account termination.
“Our goals are to increase accountability for advertisers and to also encourage them to learn more about our advertising policies to prevent future violations, creating a better overall experience,” Brett Kline, Google product manager, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.
Google’s policies affect any advertiser using Google Ads, including Google Display and Video 360, Google’s advertising help site said.
Google is cracking down on bad ads as digital advertisers are already under increased scrutiny for spreading misinformation. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest and others have been trying to curb the proliferation of suspicious products that popped up around COVID-19, like miracle cures and fraudulent claims about protective equipment.
There are other areas of concern, though, such as advertisers that promote spyware, the type of software that often appears in cases of domestic abuse. In its announcement, Google said its new rules cover “ads promoting deceptive behavior or products such as the creation of false documents, hacking services, and spyware, as well as tobacco, drugs and weapons, among other types of content.”
“These types of ads have long been prohibited, but now we are introducing increasing penalties with each strike applied,” Google said.
In its announcement, Google outlined a lengthy process that could result in an advertiser’s suspension. The first step is a warning, which leads to the removal of the ad and a notice to the advertiser. If the advertiser breaks the same policy again within 90 says of the first warning, that’s a strike. After three strikes within a certain timeframe, the advertising account would be banned.
Google advertisers are sensitive to any policy shifts that could impact their ability to run campaigns. Google also said that this policy could expand to other categories of ads, meaning that more types of advertisers could fall under policies that threaten suspension of their accounts.