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In May 2018, Google will update the Healthcare and medicines policy to restrict advertising for recovery-oriented services for drug and alcohol addiction. This policy will apply globally, across all accounts that advertise addiction services.
Here are some examples of addiction services that will be restricted under this new policy:
- Clinical treatment providers for drug and alcohol addiction, including inpatient, residential and outpatient programmes
- Recovery support services for drug and alcohol addiction, including sober living environments and mutual help organisations
- Lead generators and referral agencies for drug and alcohol addiction services
- Crisis hotlines for drug and alcohol addiction
Outside the United States, ads for addiction services are currently not allowed.
In the United States, advertisers will need to be certified by LegitScript as addiction services providers before they can advertise through Google Ads. Not all drug and alcohol addiction services are eligible for LegitScript Certification. Those not eligible for certification, such as sober homes and referral agencies, are not allowed to advertise for drug and alcohol addiction services on Google. LegitScript charges a fee for processing and monitoring applicants, but fee waivers may be available in certain circumstances. To learn more about LegitScript Certification and submit an application, visit LegitScript’s website.
US advertisers that are certified by LegitScript must also be certified by Google before they can begin advertising. Advertisers with LegitScript Certification can request certification with Google starting in July, when the form is published.
(Posted April 2018)