Google has launched a new Ads Transparency Centre that offers a searchable repository of advertisers and all their adverts from the last 30 days across all its platforms including Search, Display, and YouTube.
The launch comes alongside the Search giant’s 2022 Ads Safety Report that revealed Google removed more than 5.2 billion adverts, restricted 4.3 billion, and suspended more than 6.7 million advertiser accounts.
The adverts removed violated Google’s policies covering issues ranging from misinformation to frauds and scams, and the war in Ukraine.
Google also took action against more than 1.5 billion publisher pages and 143,000 sites for violating our policies where ads appear alongside harmful content.
“We have thousands of people working around the clock to create and enforce effective advertiser and publisher policies to prevent abuse while enabling publishers and businesses of all sizes to thrive,” said Alejandro Borgia, Google’s director of product management, ads safety.
Last year, Google expanded its financial services certification program that requires advertisers to demonstrate that they are authorized by their local regulator to promote their products and services. The program is live in Australia, as well as 10 other countries around the world.
Google said it blocked or removed 142 million adverts for violating its misrepresentation policy and 198 million for violating its financial services policy.
“Despite our continued efforts, bad actors increasingly operate at a greater scale and with more sophistication. They use a variety of tactics to evade detection. For example, at the end of 2022 and into the new year, we faced a targeted campaign of scammers creating thousands of accounts to spread malware by impersonating popular software brands,” explained Borgia.
“When we identify these coordinated threats, we urgently assess the situation and take action. In this example, we quickly identified how scammers were spreading their malware and put additional restrictions to block their ability to harm consumers.”
Misinformation has plagued the online advertising market for years and, last year, Google blocked ads from running on more than 300,000 publisher pages that violated its policies covering everything from harmful health claims and “demonstrably false” claims that could “undermine trust and participation in elections.”
It also blocked and removed over 51.2 million ads for inappropriate content. This covered everything from hate speech to violence and harmful health claims. It also pulled 20.6 million ads for dangerous products or services including weapons and explosives.
To help protect the integrity of elections, Google expanded its verification and transparency program for election ads, verifying over 5,900 new advertising accounts in the U.S. and over 2,300 in Brazil. It blocked more than 2.6 million election ads that came from advertisers who had not completed our required verification process.
The war in Ukraine
“Following the start of the war in Ukraine, we acted quickly to prohibit ads that exploit, dismiss or condone the war,” said Borgia.
“We also paused the majority of our commercial activities in Russia across our products. We paused ads from showing in Russia along with ads from Russian-based advertisers and paused monetization of Russian state-funded media across our platforms.”
To that end, Google blocked more than 17 million ads related to the war in Ukraine and removed ads from more than 275 state-funded media sites across our platforms.
Ads targeting kids
Google rolled out its existing rules around advert targeting and personalization for young kids, covering everything from sexually explicit content and ads for gambling, alcohol, and pharmaceutical drugs globally last year.
It now also prohibits ads promoting dating apps, contests and sweepstakes, as well as weight loss products to people under 18.
My Ads Centre
In October, Google launched My Ads Centre that helps people control the kinds of ads they see across Google on Search, YouTube, and Discover. It also lets users limit ads from sensitive categories and learn more about the information used to personalise their ad experience.
In the first three months after launch, there have been more than 70 million visits to My Ad Centre globally, with users adjusting ad preferences on more than 20 per cent of those visits.
Last year, Google also expanded its advertiser pages that show information on the companies behind the ads to the rest of the world.
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