Google finally said this week that it would lift its advertising ban on the new virus, after the policies sparked outrage among many groups representing Democratic lawmakers. The one-size-fits-all opposition to Google is based on fears that it could fuel misinformation in the White House. In the coming days, however, Google will begin allowing “government entities, hospitals, medical institutions and non-governmental organizations” to advertise on its platforms related to the new virus.
Since February, advertisers with most non-government backgrounds have been banned from running ads related to the COVID-19 epidemic to stop the spread of misinformation or allow certain organizations to profit from panic.
However, Democratic lawmakers worry that such one-size-fits-all controls will only unilaterally increase the White House’s voice in responding to the pandemic, Proticol reported.
“This policy is designed to protect users and discourage ads that try to exploit disaster events for short-term gain,” a Google spokesman explained in an interview with The Verge.
It is currently looking at how to support COVID-19-related advertising from hospitals, medical providers, government entities, and non-governmental organizations, but still relatively limited.
In the coming days, Google will further relax its advertising restrictions. Mark Beatty, Google’s industry director, said in an email to advertisers:
“We are planning to allow other advertisers, including political organizations, to operate COVID-19-related ads and will share more details in the coming days.”