Google bans advertising with new crown outbreak, but still has a fish that’s missing from the net

As the new coronavirus epidemic continues to spread around the world, online advertising of hand sanitizers, gloves, masks and other products that can prevent disease is proliferation, making it difficult for many large platform companies to implement a ban on such advertising. A Google spokesman said that while the company’s policy prohibits the use of the new corona virus for advertising, as of Wednesday afternoon, it had shown many of them.

Products that promise to prevent coronavirus appear on the sponsored shopping list on the product search page and also appear in Google Display ads on third-party websites.

Google bans advertising with new crown outbreak, but still has a fish that's missing from the net

Other major technology companies, such as Google and Amazon, have seen third parties move quickly to use their platforms in a bid to profit from the coronavirus outbreak. This is another indication that large-scale online platform operators sometimes lack the tools or people to keep others from using their platforms.

For example, google ran a mask ad promising to “prevent coronaviruses” and said “the government has certified that it can block up to 95% of airborne viruses and bacteria.” Inventory is limited. “The picture shows a 3M mask, but it’s actually pointing to a website called MedicalProtex.

Other mask ads also claim to be “limited in stock”. At the same time, Google’s shopping search results page also shows hand sanitizers, protective clothing, masks and other products that claim to protect against coronaviruses.

Google says its shopping rankings are “based on a combination of advertiser bids and relevance, such as your current search keywords and your campaign.” “

A Google spokesman noted that the company has a “sensitive event policy” for advertising. Under the policy, Google would ban content that “may exploit incidents such as natural disasters, conflicts or deaths.” The company said the outbreak of the coronavirus “is in the context of this policy and we are actively implementing it across the platform.” The spokesman also said the policy applies to YouTube and that the company does not allow advertisers to monetize videos related to sensitive events such as the new crown outbreak.

The spokesman said Google Shopping also has a “sensitive incident” policy and has “proactively implemented” and removed items that violate its policies. The company said it was investigating the above example and would remove it on Wednesday afternoon.

Google’s advertising policy on “health products and drugs” prohibits “products that are not licensed by the government to imply in marketing messages that they can be used safely or effectively to prevent, cure, or treat specific diseases or diseases.” “

Companies that ran the ads, including Medical Protex, ReadyMade Prime, Demand Gadget and Our Technology Home, were not immediately available for comment.

Facebook last week banned ads that claim to be able to prevent or cure coronaviruses or try to create a sense of urgency around the epidemic, such as promoting a “limited supply” of products.

“Don’t grab the mask.”

Mask sprees have been on the rise in the United States in recent weeks, but medical experts have warned healthy people not to buy masks to avoid a shortage of medical equipment.

“Seriously, don’t rob the mask!” U.S. surgeon Jerome Adams said on Twitter over the weekend, “Masks don’t do a good way to prevent coronavirus infection in the general public, but if health care workers don’t get masks to care for patients, health care workers and communities are in danger!” “

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also said there was no evidence to support the prevention of wearing a mask.

Regulators elsewhere have also begun to clamp down on mask advertising. The UK Advertising Standards Authority has reportedly banned advertising from both companies for “misleading, irresponsible and potentially causing panic without justification”.

Conversant, a digital media company, also referred to its own policy, which prohibits “incitement to natural disasters and/or any false, falsified or sensational news or stories” and the sale of over-the-counter drugs that are not approved by the FDA. The media investigation also did not see the company run any ads related to the coronavirus.