Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist
6 November 2004

And now Google’s ad policies are public. Google will not run ads promoting gambling, beer or spirits (wine is apparently fine), fireworks and a long list of other banned subjects. Of course you can always argue about what they should have added and what doesn’t belong there – I also expect a number of objections by borderline cases. For example, they ban advertising of ‘miracle cures’ (but seem happy to allow ads for homeopathy). And I expect there may be a couple more exclusions they don’t mention. Would they allow dissidents to advertise the “anonymous proxy servers”:http://www.samair.ru/proxy/index.htm that would enable Chinese people to get around their government’s “internet filtering”:http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/filtering/china/? Would they let people advertise “Nazi Paraphernalia”:http://www.metronews.ca/tech_news.asp?id=2702 as Yahoo got prosecuted for? (the stuff arguably isn’t in itself ‘advocating against a protected group’ (which they ban) but I don’t see any ads come up if I search for ‘nazi for sale’).

Nice at least to see some openness from Google about the ethical policies they have exercised until now without scrutiny.


  1. http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/pulpit20040930.html
    (remove at to reply by email)

    Looks at what WiFi might do to the world of media.. with a canadian example!

    Comment by John — 7 November 2004 @ 10:24 am

  2. A really weird list without any kind of logic to it. Banning beer, but not wine is just ugly snobbery.

    Comment by Stephen Newton — 8 November 2004 @ 11:18 am

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