Search engine giant Google Inc. has towed the path of Facebook to announce a ban on cryptocurrency-related adverts on its platforms. Google announced the ban as part of updates to the Financial Services section of its Advertisement Policies which will take effect from June this year.
The updated policy will “restrict the advertisement of Contracts for Difference, rolling spot forex, and financial spread betting. In addition, ads for the following will no longer be allowed to serve: Binary options and synonymous products, Cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice)”
Google’s post also stated that some advertisers in the restricted category will have to get certified before they can run ads via Google’s Adwords. To get certified, the advertiser must:
- Be licensed by the relevant financial services authority in the country or countries they are targeting
- Ensure their ads and landing pages comply with all AdWords policies
- Comply with relevant legal requirements, including those related to complex speculative financial products
The advertisers can request certification with Google starting March 2018 when the application form is published.
The Issue with Crypto schemes
Google’s ban comes after social media platform Facebook banned similar adverts in January citing misleading and deceptive promotional practices associated with cryptocurrency, ICOs, and binary options. Twitter is also reportedly considering a solution to crypto-related scams that riddled the site since February. Observers have accused many ICO ventures of playing on a get-rich-quick mindset, making bogus claims and unrealizable promises. This has led to a crackdown on promotional activities for cryptos.
It seems Google had already started restricting the visibility of crypto-related content on its Ad platforms. Bitcoin.com published a report of ICO companies showing “significant drops in the performance of advertising campaigns run on Google’s platforms.”
Google insists that businesses play by its rules in order to make money through their platforms. They are always fighting “bad ads” that try to use their platform for cyberattacks and fraudulent activities. Google says that “[they are] constantly updating our policies as [they] see new threats emerge.