Cryptocurrency and blockchain may be sweeping the globe but a huge rise in scams has forced Google to implement a ban on advertising such products in a broader crackdown on the promotion of “unregulated or speculative financial products” on its platforms.
The ban, which comes into force from June, will also include cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets and trading advice as well as ads for binary options, forex and financial spread betting. The restrictions will require advertisers to be certified by Google before they can advertise through the web giant’s AdWords service.
Google director of sustainable ads Scott Spencer told to CNBC: “We’ve seen enough consumer harm or potential for consumer harm that it’s an area that we want to approach with extreme caution.”
The move comes as Google has hailed its efforts to clamp down on so-called “bad ads” on its network – which typically try to steal customers’ personal data – claiming it removed 3.2 billion ads during 2017, an 88% increase on the previous year.
The company insists that it has been able to block the majority of rogue ads before the scams actually affect people. Of the total, 79 million were attempting to send people to malware-laden sites, while 66 million were so-called “trick-to-click” and 48 million were attempting to get users to install unwanted software.
The search giant also removed 320,000 publishers from its ad network for violating publisher policies and blacklisted nearly 90,000 websites and 700,000 mobile apps.
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