There’s always something to howl about

Google Blocks Ads? Disturbing…

angry-cat-2.jpgAccording to Mashable, Google may be blocking ads.  What? I mean… wait, what?  Google should tread lightly- they say that the Republican ad campaign against the MoveOn site violates Google policy, yet MoveOn ads do not.  In fairness, my argument may be in vain- MoveOn may have requested removal for trademark violation which is a deal breaker, but even so-  regardless of my political affiliation, this just doesn’t smell right.

That said, how many of us place Google ads?  If someone at Google closely follows real estate blogs and finds a sword duel between two bloggers, do they arbitrarily take a side and suddenly block the ads belonging to the dueler they disagree with? 

Not only is Big Brother acting unfairly, they are damaging their business.  It seems to me that Google should steer clear of taking sides because it could severely hurt their bottom line.  Google is invincible today, but if the entire world decides that their gestapo style political selection process of advertisers won’t fly, they may be moving to a lower rent building for their headquarters.


10 Comments so far

  1. Scoot October 12th, 2007 1:47 pm

    Very scary. Google does have a lot of power, but if they abuse the trust they have, I believe it would be a New York second before they could lose everything. Everyone is vulnerable. And Google isn’t immune. I think it’s funny you refer to them as Big Brother.

  2. Chuchundra October 12th, 2007 2:47 pm

    Here’s the update

    Apparently the specific Google policy that lead to the blocking of the ad was the use of the trademarked name: Google allows companies to prohibit their trademarks from being used in ads.

    As someone who works with Google ad buys, I can testify to the fact they’re very very strict about the use of trademarks.

  3. Benn October 12th, 2007 3:10 pm

    Chuchundra, in politics, nothing is off limits, not even your trademark. I suggest google create a sub advertising category for political ads…

  4. Brian Brady October 12th, 2007 3:15 pm is available

    Let’s get Mike Duncan to buy it.

  5. Lani Anglin October 12th, 2007 3:27 pm

    Chuchundra– like I said, it still smells funny. Their TOS are iron clad, so it’s like the police force- if you’re in a car, they can FIND a reason to ticket you. Here in Texas, until this fall if you had a vanity plate holder (like my UT Alumni holder I put on the day of graduation), you are in violation of State law because the vanity frame covers the top part (centimeter) of the word “Texas” which is illegal.

    More cars HAVE these holders than don’t and rarely is a ticket written, but if it’s nearing ticket roundup month’s end, there’s an instant reason to fine you. Enforcement is artibrary as it seems Google’s ad policy may be.

    Benn– I tend to agree since there is actual legislation on political advertisements, air time, etc. The Google standards should be different since the laws are different.

    Brian– omg, priceless. You should shoot him an email before Al Gore finds it to be a good idea (manbearpig anyone?).

  6. Chuchundra October 12th, 2007 7:13 pm

    Lani, the rules on political advertising generally only apply to campaign ads, not to general political advertising. Plenty of left-wing issue ads have been rejected by the major networks because they felt they were “inappropriate”.

    Moreover, these sorts of regulations only apply to radio and TV because they use the public airwaves which are the the property of the American people. They generally don’t apply to newspapers, web sites or even cable channels. Fox News, for example, would be well within their rights to refuse an issue ad from Move On.

    As I said previously, Google rejects ads all the time for all kinds of reasons. They’ve been sued enough times over trademark issues to be overly cautious in this regard. There’s absolutely no reason to suspect that this was anything more than that.

  7. Lani Anglin October 12th, 2007 7:43 pm

    I think you’ve stuck on one word in one sentence of one paragraph- “trademark.” I can’t tell you that it is Google’s reason- no reason has yet been provided, but in my attempt to be fair to Google, I offered a singular reason for their rejecting the ads.

    Don’t think that media outlets are immune to being unfair, especially when MoveOn is involved. I’d love to posit another reason Google may have rejected the ads, but I fear it would distract from the point. Bottom line: Google is made of of fallible people that may make personal decisions of how to arbitrarily reject ads, and make no mistake- these ads are physically approved (or disapproved) by a human being.

    I would hate for MY Google ads to be removed because someone at Google reads this and thinks that you’re the best thing since sliced bread and mistakes my tone for being mean to you, and suddenly my ads are rejected (the same way the TXDPS arbitrarily fined me for my UT Alumni vanity license frame). The cards are being stacked against Google- first about privacy, now about frivolously disapproving ads… what’s next? Until they are forthcoming with why they’ve disapproved the ads, they are subject to and deserving of this type of attention.

  8. Frank Sinclair October 13th, 2007 7:24 am

    Nothing new here. People on the left talked about a vast right-wing conspiracy against the left. It appears to me the deck is stacked *quite* the other way. In any case, good business sense, vis-a-vis, doing business with people from *all* sides of the equation, dictates not limiting ads with views contrary to left-leaning views.

    I’m sure even if the “trademark” issues are corrected, those ads would not be allowed. What I can’t get is why so many views about knocking our great country are championed and applauded, and views looking to make us great again are pooh-poohed.

    I’m already not bothering to watch movies starring such types as: Johnny Depp and Alec Baldwin. Now, I suppose I can always vote with my fingers and use another search engine. After all, there is *no* shortage of excellent alternative search engines. Google isn’t *all that!*

  9. […] Recently, we discussed Google blocking ads against which has led to much negative talk in the blogosphere about Google.  […]

  10. Thomas Johnson October 15th, 2007 10:01 am

    I’m late on this one. Why should this be a surprise? In light of google assisting search censorship in COMMUNIST China helping to enable those paragons of human rights, the COMMUNIST Chinese. Move-on is a leftist some would say COMMUNIST symapthizer. The useful idiots at google see themselves as the elite and by enabling COMMUNISTs they hope to be the official state-run COMMUNIST propoganda provider.