Google has announced an update to its advertising policies that will prevent Ads advertisers, AdSense publishers and YouTube publishers from publishing and monetizing content that questions or contradicts the scientific consensus on the existence and causes of climate change.
This new policy will begin to apply from November 2021. To enforce it, Google will use a combination of automated tools and manual reviews.
Why Google is updating its advertising policies
In the official words of the Google Ads team:
"In recent years, we heard from an increasing number of advertising partners and publishers who expressed concerns about ads that promote or run alongside inaccurate climate change claims. Advertisers simply do not want their ads to appear alongside this content. In addition, publishers and creators do not want ads promoting these claims to be shown on their pages or videos."
The truth is that in recent years, large technology companies have faced increasing pressure and harsh criticism to contribute to the fight against climate change.
And Google was not going to be less. According to an investigation by the non-profit organization Avaaz in 2020, YouTube videos (owned by Google) with inaccurate information on climate change received more than 21 million views and posted ads frequently.
What ads and content will be banned from posting and monetization
The new Google policy will prohibit the serving and monetization of ads that support climate crisis denial.
This includes content that presents climate change as a type of scam, claims that reject long-term trends showing an increase in global climate, and claims that deny the contribution of greenhouse gas emissions or human activity to climate change.
The Google system will carefully examine the context in which these claims are made, differentiating between content that presents a false claim as a proven fact and content that analyzes or reports on such a claim. On the other hand, the publication and monetization of ads related to climate-related topics will continue to be allowed. This includes public debates on climate policy, the impacts of climate change or new research.
What to watch out for with this new change from Google
From now on, we will have to take special care if our content touches closely on the topic of the current climate situation.
For example, online advertisers will have to make sure that their ads comply with the Ad Policies if they touch on any kind of climate issue. However, remember that Google's automatic ad filtering system is not foolproof, and it may be that your ad is rejected despite complying with all points of the Ad Policies. If you are still rejected, you will be able to appeal the case directly from your Google Ads account.
Publishers and creators of climate change content on YouTube will have to be careful not to violate this policy if they want to continue monetizing their content. Regardless, this change may have a positive branding change for these creators by making it less likely that ads denying climate change will appear alongside their content.
Thanks so much for reading me once again! Best regards, and keep an eye on Google's changing advertising policies.
JOS (without the E)