Updates to Political Content Policy (May 2022)

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This notice reflects an update to the Political Content policy change log published on 2 December 2021.   

Ending Election Ads exemptions

The Google Ads Political Content policy will be updated to eliminate existing products, services and news exemptions in election ads policies for certain regions, with enforcement to begin in May 2022. The election ads policies for Australia, Brazil, the European Union, India, Israel, New Zealand, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States will be updated to remove the following exemption: 

Note that election ads don’t include ads for products or services, including promotional political merchandise like t-shirts, or ads run by news organisations to promote their coverage of political parties, candidates or current elected officeholders.

In addition, in May 2022, the election ads policy for India will be updated to include the following language:  

Ad pre-certificates are not required for ads run by non-political entities promoting political merchandise like t-shirts, or ads run by news organisations to promote their news coverage.

With these policy updates, advertisers wishing to promote products, services and news with ad content that is in scope of Google’s election ads policies will be subject to all policy requirements, including that they must apply for Election Ads verification in order to run these ads.

New Election Ads serving options

Concurrent with the elimination of election ads exemptions, in May 2022, we will also expand election ad serving options.  

Presently, election ads can serve only in the region to which the ad content pertains (e.g. EU Election Ads can serve only in the EU; US Election Ads can only serve in the US).  

After this change, election ads may be eligible to serve both in and outside the region to which the ad content pertains (e.g. EU Election Ads may be eligible to serve in the EU and the US), subject to the following policy requirements: 

To run election ads in the region to which the ad content pertains, an advertiser must be verified under that region’s Election Ads verification process. For example, an advertiser must complete the Australia Election Ads verification process to run Australia Election Ads in Australia.  

To run election ads outside the region to which the ad content pertains, an advertiser must be verified under either the Election Ads verification or Advertiser Identity verification process for the region in which the advertiser is located.  For example, a UK-based advertiser must complete a UK verification process to run New Zealand Election Ads in any region outside New Zealand.

Election Ads Disclosures and the Political Advertising Transparency Report

In light of the election ads serving changes, we will update the scope of ads that are subject to 'Paid for by' disclosures and included in the Political Advertising transparency report. To learn more about the Political Advertising transparency report see here.

Under the new serving options, all election ads, in applicable formats, that are run by verified election advertisers in regions where election ads verification is required, will include a 'Paid for by' disclosure. For example, EU Election Ads that serve in the US will contain a 'Paid for by' disclosure. Google will continue to require that all election ads that run in a region to which the ad content pertains contain a disclosure identifying who has paid for the ad. For most ad formats, Google will continue to automatically generate a 'Paid for by' disclosure, using the information provided during the verification process.

To provide transparency for users, Google will continue to publish a Political Advertising transparency report and a political ads library. Under the new serving options, only ads that are in scope of the election ads policy in the region that they serve, and that are run by verified election advertisers, will be included in the report at this time. For example, EU Election Ads run by a verified EU election advertiser that serve in the EU will be included in the report. US Election Ads run by a verified EU election advertiser that serve in the EU will not be included.

Changes to Regional Restrictions for Election and Issue Ads in Canada

In May 2022, Regional restrictions for Election Ads in Canada and Issue Ads in Canada will be updated as follows:

This policy does not apply to ads run by Canadian news organisations to promote their news coverage of an election.  This policy also does not include ads promoting public health guidance related to COVID-19 or information about electoral processes run by official federal government ministries, departments, or agencies (e.g. civic participation ads run by Elections Canada).

Violations of Google’s Political Content policy will not lead to immediate account suspension without prior warning. A warning will be issued at least seven days prior to any suspension of your account.

Please review these policy and ad serving updates. Determine whether or not any of your ads fall in scope of the updated policy, including ads to promote products, services or news with ad content that is in scope of Google’s election ads policies, and if so, ensure that before May 2022 you either complete Election Ads verification if eligible or remove those ads.

 

(Posted May 2022)

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