Google Restricts Political Advertising On Its Platform

Google is imposing a stricter advertisement policy for political campaigns on its platform.

Benzinga · 11/21/2019 11:49

Google is imposing a stricter advertisement policy for political campaigns on its platform.

What Happened

The Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL)(NASDAQ: GOOG) subsidiary will limit the audience targeting for election ads to age, gender, and zip code, and not to political preference or previous public voting data Scott Spencer, the Vice President for Product Management at Google Ads said in a blog post on Wednesday.

The advertisers can still do “contextual targeting” on the platform, Spencer said. This includes targeting ads to people reading or watching a story on a particular topic.

Spencer said this would bring Google’s policy in line with traditional media platforms like television, radio, and print publications.

Social Media Giants Divided

Google’s announcement comes less than a month after Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTRsaid it would no longer allow any political advertising on its platform. In the final policy released on Nov. 15, Twitter imposed severe restrictions on politics-related ads but fell short of a blanket ban.

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) has resisted calls for regulating political ads on its platform.

In October, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended the social media’s right to not fact check political ads citing freedom of speech and expression.

What’s Next

Market analysts consulted by the Wall Street Journal said the new policy is unlikely to affect Google’s advertising revenue.

“Advertising dollars follow eyeballs. So while campaigns will have to adjust to these new rules, Google’s platforms are still effective for reaching voters online,” Reid Vineis, an official from ads firm Majority Strategies told the Wall Street Journal.

Google plans to implement the new policy in the U.K. ahead of the General Election on December 12. The policy is expected to come into effect in the E.U. by the end of this year, and the rest of the world by January next year.

Price Action

Alphabet’s shares closed 0.82% lower at $1,301.86 on Wednesday.