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Google is Banning Impersonation and Fake Endorsements in Ads

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Google has unveiled changes to its Misrepresentation policy in a bid to bolster transparency and trust. These changes aim to curb deceptive practices in ads with strict penalties that include banning advertisers who use fake endorsements. 

So, when do these changes come into play? And what do they mean for your ads? Here are the key details.

What is Google’s Misrepresentation Policy?

The Google Ads Misrepresentation policy features a set of guidelines designed to combat fraudulent activities. This includes impersonation, false advertising, scams and phishing.

As outlined in the policy, advertisers are prohibited from concealing or misrepresenting information about their business. Essentially, it forbids any practices that endanger user safety, from advertising undeliverable products or services to employing phishing techniques for collecting data.

Which Part of the Policy Has Changed and When Will the Updates Come Into Effect?

In February 2024, Google announced updates to the Misrepresentation policy. These changes can be found in the ‘Unacceptable business practices‘ section. For users outside of France, this update will be enforced from March 2024 – advertisers in France have until April 2024.

Google shared these changes in a blog post:

‘In March 2024, Google Ads will update the Unacceptable business practices portion of the Misrepresentation policy to include enticing users to part with money or information by impersonating or falsely implying affiliation with or endorsement by a public figure, brand, or organisation.’

Why Has Google Changed the Misrepresentation Policy?

Google’s decision to implement stricter measures against impersonation and false affiliations stems from its safeguarding commitments. With these changes, Google aims to protect users from being duped by scams that claim to be associated with a particular person or brand.

By clamping down on these deceptive practices, Google hopes to create a more secure environment for users and advertisers alike.

How Will These Updates Impact My Ads?

Moving forward, policing fake endorsements will become a key priority. This will have major ramifications for advertisers, as Google will take action against accounts that violate these new terms.

Google states:

‘We take violations of this policy very seriously and consider them egregious. If we find violations of this policy, we will suspend your Google Ads accounts upon detection and without prior warning, and you will not be allowed to advertise with us again.’

Meeting Google’s Misrepresentation Policy

These changes will have far-reaching implications. For users, ads free from manipulation updates will provide a safer online experience; for advertisers, there will be permanent penalties for those who fall foul. 

To comply, advertisers must ensure that their ads do not:

  • Falsely claim association or endorsements from well-known brands, organisations or people
  • Feature undeliverable services/products
  • Utilise phishing techniques

Are you concerned about your ads? Then get in touch today. Our team can advise you on these changes and ensure your account complies with Google’s updated Misrepresentation policy.

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  • Alex Gregory

    Alex has worked with big companies and government agencies to deliver excellent digital experiences. From strategic digital campaigns to website builds and compliance, he’s an experienced marketer that knows how to grow brands online.

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