Google Bans Cryptocurrency Ads | News & Opinion


The tech giants have had enough of cryptocurrency ads.

Starting in June, Google will ban all cryptocurrency advertising across its flagship search and display ad businesses; Facebook rolled out a similar ban in January.

Google will no longer serve ads related to cyptocurrencies and related content, “including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice,” the company said in a blog post.

Google announced the policy change along with its latest “bad ads report.” According to Scott Spencer, Google’s Director of Sustainable Ads, the company took down more than 3.2 billion ads that violated its ad policies in 2017. “That’s more than 100 bad ads per second!” wrote Spencer. The report states that Google blocked 79 million ads serving malware, and removed 320,000 publishers from its ad network for policy violations, among a bevy of other stats.

The report also talks about Google fighting deceptive content and “unregulated or speculative financial products,” which is where cryptocurrency ads come in. The volatile cryptocurrency landscape has been plagued by countless ICO scams and a great deal of disingenous and misleading marketing, much of it appearing on the two largest online ad platforms: Facebook and Google.

The search giant’s ban is a particularly far-reaching crackdown. Google’s display ads appear not only in search results, but across the internet. Its Display Network places ads on other websites, in mobile apps on smartphones and tablets, and of course on Google-owned properties like Gmail, Google Play, and YouTube.

As agencies like the SEC eye sweeping regulations for cryptocurrencies and ICOs, we’ll continue to see more law and order ride into what has thus far been the cryptocurrency Wild West. The SEC has already warned celebrities that they need to disclose if they’re promoting a cryptocurrency in the wake of recent impersonation scams.

For now, Facebook and Google have at least put a stop to scammers trying to dupe your grandparents into using their retirement funds to buy Bitcoin.

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