Google is now making it mandatory for all advertisers to verify their identities and countries of origin. This policy was initially designed for political ads; but is now being extended to all advertisers as a measure towards combatting misinformation and scams especially about the COVID-19 pandemic. Going forward, you will start seeing disclosures with your ads from this summer. Companies in the US will kick-off the new policy before being extended to other countries globally.
Google will now require that ad buyers provide personal identification and business incorporation documents or other documentation to proves their identity as well as country of origin before running an ad. All users will then be able to see the identity by clicking an “about the advertiser” option next to the promotion.
“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. It will also help support the health of the digital advertising ecosystem by detecting bad actors and limiting their attempts to misrepresent themselves,” said ad integrity head John Canfield in a blog post.
All advertisers including individuals and companies will have a month to complete the verification of after receiving notification from Google. If after the one-month period they fail to act, then Google will no longer serve their ads.
A couple of months ago, The Wall Street Journal reported that Google was in active discussion that would see the search engine giant pay news publishers for content. The discussions, according to WSJ, was mostly with publishers outside the US—with more of them based in France and the rest of Europe.
“We want to help people find quality journalism—it’s important to informed democracy and helps support a sustainable news industry,” Google said in a statement per WSJ. “We care deeply about this and are talking with partners and looking at more ways to expand our ongoing work with publishers, building on programmes like our Google News Initiative.”
Paying publishers for news content is not new with Google—in 2019, the search engine giant started licensing audio news from major publishers like ABC, Cheddar, The Associated Press, Reuters, Fox News Radio, CNN, and PBS as well as a host of local radio stations to create audio that works with Google Assistant.
We have not heard anything much from that front since that time, but things are expected to gather pace once nations start reopening their economy after the deadly coronavirus pandemic that forced billions of people to stay home since the last couple of weeks.