Google Implements Financial Ad Verification System: What Was Inadequate Before This Change?

June 23, 2022

One might think it obvious that ads for financial services should be confirmed as legit, but it seems to have taken the threat of legal action for Google to implement a screening system. TechCrunch reports, “Google Expands Ads Verification Program to Tackle Financial Scams.” The pilot program was launched in the UK last year after that country’s Financial Conduct Authority put pressure on the company. Google has declared the project a success but, we are told, has supplied no evidence to support that claim. Next the company plans to expand the program to Australia, Singapore, and Taiwan with other countries and regions to follow. Writer Natasha Lomas tells us:

“The verification layer sits atop Google’s financial products and services policy — looping in a local financial regulator that advertisers must demonstrate they are authorized by in order to have their financial services ads accepted by Google — thereby adding a layer of security against the adtech giant accepting and running ads for crypto investment scams and the like. In the U.K. the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the regulatory body that financial services advertisers must demonstrate they are authorized by. Equivalent oversight bodies will come into play in the three new markets. Google said advertisers wanting to promote financial products and services in these markets will be able to apply for verification at the end of June — with the policy slated to go into effect on August 30, 2022.”

After that date, Google promises, any advertisers that have not gone through verification will be dropped. A director at the company asserted:

“We work tirelessly to make sure the ads we serve are safe and trustworthy, and we know that partnering and collaborating with government regulators is critical to our success. That’s why we’re closely coordinating with regulators in these three markets to make sure this program is effective at scale.”

Sure it is. It has nothing to do with the FCA threatening to haul Google into court. That timing must have been pure coincidence.

Cynthia Murrell, June 23, 2022

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