Advertisers will be required to undergo a verification process to buy ad space on Google
In its effort to curb inaccurate advertisements and increase user transparency, Google last week announced that all advertisers would have to complete a verification process before buying ad space on its platform. “Advertisers will need to submit personal identification, business incorporation documents or other information that proves who they are and the country in which they operate,” John Canfield, director, product management, Ads Integrity, said in an official communique.
Industry analysts believe that such measures are necessary to restore faith in digital as a medium, especially in the current scenario wherein the increasing reliance on digital could potentially expose consumers to fake advertisements. “Such a move will increase the quality of advertisers and increase trust among consumers,” Gautam Mehra, chief data officer -South Asia and CEO of Programmatic at Dentsu Aegis Network said.
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In the first phase, Google plans to roll out the initiative in the US followed by other countries wherein the process will take “a few years to complete.” “This change will make it easier for people to understand who the advertiser is behind the ads they see from Google and help them make more informed decisions when using our advertising controls,” Canfield added.
To be sure, small and medium enterprises will benefit from the move because the fake sites that are in the competition will be eliminated. “Normally, when a media planner submits a campaign to Google, it already goes through automatic moderation before going live. With Google’s own programmatic tool and the new filter put in place, marketers can now funnel their businesses,” Preetam Thingalaya, director of media, Mirum India. For Bobby Pawar, chairman and CCO, Havas Group India, with advertisers turning cautious in communication, consumers’ belief in smaller brands will see a rise.
Interestingly, this is not the first move by Google to increase ad transparency. In 2018, Google announced an identity verification policy for political advertisers that required all political parties which showcased election ads on its platforms go through a verification program to confirm identities. Following this, it verified political advertisers in 30 countries. Moreover, the ‘Why This Ad’ feature allowed the platform to explain why a specific ad is being displayed. With the elections scheduled in the US this year again, Google has stepped up on ways to provide increased transparency on advertisements.
The platform also claims to have blocked and removed 2.7 billion inappropriate ads in 2019 to preserve the interest of the users and provide a safer platform for interaction between publishers and consumers. The company terminated over 1.2 million accounts on the publisher side and removed ads from over 21 million web pages from its publisher network for violating the policies laid down by the platform.