Ads Running on Google’s Network Alongside Baseless Claims Around COVID-19 Virus

Google | June 03, 2020

  • Global Disinformation Index recently reviewed 49 sites running baseless claims about the virus, and found Google placed ads on 84% of them.

  • Search and social platforms have had a lot to contend with when it comes to COVID-19.

  • There is another side of Google’s advertising web that had been somewhat flying under the radar until now: where display ads show on its network of sites.


From struggling monetization to constantly evolving ad policies, and blatantly false information slipping through the cracks in approval, adapting quickly has been the name of the game.
 

What is Google’s Ad Network?

When a visitor lands on a website and sees advertising, it’s a symbiotic relationship. The brand is paying to have their ad shown, the site owner makes money, and different platforms (like Google) broker that relationship.

Sites that use Google to automatically supply ads from buyers are part of their advertiser network.

In the age of disinformation, this creates questions around the responsibility of ad networks when it comes to which sites and what content it powers advertising for.

Sites vs. Page Content

A report this week from Bloomberg shows this gray area is rearing its head again.

A research group called the Global Disinformation Index found that in 49 sites running disinformation, 84% of them had Google ads on them.

Example of the ads and website pairings include:

-Veeam ad appearing on an article citing claims that Bill Gates’s charities relating to pandemics are part of a plot for world domination

-Microsoft Teams ad appearing on an article that Gates attempted bribery on Nigerian lawmarkers for a COVID-19 vaccine

-O2 communications ad showing an an article claiming links between the virus and 5G networks

When questioned, Google responded by highlighting that they monitor specific page content, and not necessarily a site at large.

We are deeply committed to elevating quality content across Google products and that includes protecting our users from medical misinformation. Any time we find publishers that violate our policies, we take immediate action.

- Christa Muldoon, Google spokesperson


Brands that use Google’s network can create a blacklist of sites they do not want their ads on, but it raises the question of where the responsibility truly falls.

In a world with billions of sites, who owns the responsibility for not only the brand association, but the monetization of sites that feature false information?

Brands vs. Information

This isn’t the first time Google has faced backlash for where its ads run, including a very public debate over its ads appearing on Breitbart.

As they continue to expand monetization opportunities across both YouTube and websites, they face a unique offshoot of this issue:

If a creator is banned, do you police their appearance at large?

Case in point: David Icke, a British conspiracy theorist who had been on YouTube for over 14 years.

Read more: Google tests ‘Curbside Pickup’ badge for local shopping ads to help during COVID-19

He was finally banned from the platform recently due to spreading misinformation about COVID-19. Now, he can be seen and heard in other YouTube channels, and in commercials for a streaming network around Yoga called Gaia.

A Google spokesperson confirmed that as long as the videos don’t break rules, blocked creators may appear in other videos owned by other accounts.

As the world marches on with creators joining platforms every day, and more information than ever being pumped out over the internet, these questions will continue to permeate the landscape. Should there be monetary reward for disinformation, and how does a platform selectively choose when and how to enforce that?

There may never be an easy and swift answer, but the debates will continue on.

Spotlight

Digital marketers today are expected to deliver personalized customer experiences across ever-changing touchpoints, but are often challenged with distributed data sources, time-intensive testing and optimization, and omnichannel delivery options that may actually impede a clear view to the customer and how and where they interact over time.

Spotlight

Digital marketers today are expected to deliver personalized customer experiences across ever-changing touchpoints, but are often challenged with distributed data sources, time-intensive testing and optimization, and omnichannel delivery options that may actually impede a clear view to the customer and how and where they interact over time.

Related News

ADVERTISER PLATFORMS

MGID Bolsters Global Leadership Team to Accelerate Growth Into New Territories

MGID | September 17, 2022

MGID, the global advertising platform, has today announced the appointment of Sara Buluggiu as VP of Publisher Business Development, and Sergio Vives as Global Head of Publisher Acquisition, to drive the company’s European expansion. Buluggiu brings a wealth of international digital media experience, with previous roles including Digital Director at Starcom, and VP, Regional Director Italy, Spain and MENA at Magnite, where she launched its Middle East offering and successfully grew operations in Dubai and Israel. At MGID, she will be responsible for developing the company’s publisher-focused global strategy in Europe, North America, LatAm and APAC regions. An accomplished sales and business development leader, Vives brings more than 15 years experience in revenue management, publisher acquisition and monetization strategies. Previously VP Sales at Marfeel, the global content intelligence platform, and Global Sales Director at Softonic, he will oversee MGID’s global publisher acquisition strategies. Sergii Denysenko, CEO at MGID, commented, “With increasing recessionary pressures and tighter privacy regulations, publishers are seeking alternative revenue streams that won’t compromise user experience." Sergii Denysenko, CEO at MGID, commented, “With increasing recessionary pressures and tighter privacy regulations, publishers are seeking alternative revenue streams that won’t compromise user experience. We want to ensure those creating great content on the open web and amassing valuable audiences don’t miss out on their fair share of ad spend. “As we extend our support of publishers in developing audiences and generating revenue into new global territories, bringing both Sara and Sergio on board is a significant step towards helping us to achieve this.” About MGID MGID is a global advertising platform helping brands reach unique local audiences at scale. It uses privacy-first, AI-based technology to serve high-quality, relevant ads in brand-safe environments. The company offers a variety of ad formats, including native, display and video to deliver a positive user experience. This enables advertisers to drive performance and awareness, and publishers to retain and monetize their audiences. Every month, MGID reaches 900 million unique readers, with 200 billion ad impressions, across 25 thousand trusted publishers. For more information, please visit: www.mgid.com.

Read More

SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING

SGG Media Launches Crowd Funding Round on StartEngine.com

SGG Media, StartEngine.com | September 02, 2022

SGG Media - A Division of Sports Gambling Guides, Inc., the up-and-coming sports advertising agency, is continuing its plans to turn the advertising world on its head by opening up a $5 million round of private funding on leading US investment platform, StartEngine.com via the SGG Media portal: https://www.startengine.com/sports-gambling-guides Like so many things the company has done during its short but meteoric rise to prominence over the past few years, turning to one of America’s largest crowd funding sites to generate further investment in SGG Media is something of an industry first. It will give private investors the unique opportunity to buy into a sports gambling-related business from just $250 while helping SGG Media continue to grow. With StartEngine.com having already helped other start-up businesses raise $50 million in private funding, SGG Media is confident of launching their $5 million offering on the platform – with this amount further complimenting the $3.25 million the group has already funded in the past 15 months. The fact that SGG Media has ripped up the traditional funding playbook and made investment in the company possible for private individuals online should perhaps not come as a huge surprise to anyone in the sports marketing industry – after all, this is a young company that has always done things differently. Having recognized the cost-prohibitive and largely unquantifiable nature of conventional TV, print and radio advertising, SGG Media set out on a mission to disrupt the sports affiliate marketing space by instead harnessing the power of social media to reach a whole new audience of modern sports fans. From this simple but pioneering starting position, SGG Media has gone on to amass a vast network of over 1,300 “micro-sports influencers” – knowledgeable and engaged content creators who can deliver laser-focused messaging and promotions to a combined audience of 25 million avid sports fans. The group has since partnered with some of the largest companies in the sports betting and daily fantasy sports industries, with these organizations all recognizing the importance of connecting with a new breed of fan that’s consuming sports info via Twitter, Instagram, and other forms of social media. Troy Paul, Co-Founder and President of SGG Media, said: “We’re very excited to be taking investment in SGG Media online on the hugely successful crowdfunding platform, StartEngine.com. It’s perhaps the first opportunity for private investors to show support for a sports gambling-related company. Troy Paul, Co-Founder and President of SGG Media, said: “We’re very excited to be taking investment in SGG Media online on the hugely successful crowdfunding platform, StartEngine.com. It’s perhaps the first opportunity for private investors to show support for a sports gambling-related company. “To put it plainly, if you believe in the future of online sports gambling and the future of social media advertising, this is a great opportunity to get involved with our company from as little as $250. We strongly believe the crowdfunding round will prove to be another major success for SGG Media and will enable the group to continue its trailblazing work at the cross section of sports and social media.”

Read More

AD NETWORKS

Appsumer Launches Free Package to Enable Cross-Channel Insights for Scaling App Advertisers

Appsumer, InMobi | September 21, 2022

Appsumer by InMobi, a leading performance insights platform for mobile app advertisers, has launched Appsumer Starter, a complimentary automated cross-channel dashboard and reporting solution. The globally-available solution automates performance insights for app advertisers who are scaling across the channels they most commonly use—including Meta, Google, Apple Search Ads, TikTok and Snap as well as InMobi—delivering actionable high-level dashboards and granular reports through a centralized platform. A recent Appsumer benchmark report found that scaling advertisers have struggled to diversify across channels compared to the largest advertisers since Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) was released. Scaling app advertisers' lack of internal data science and engineering resources puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to cross-channel insights, impacting their ability to exponentially scale. “When you look at the massive changes app marketers have had to address—the impact of ATT, SKAdNetwork attribution and looking ahead towards Android Privacy Sandbox, ad measurement became much more complex, especially for smaller apps who bore the brunt,” says Shumel Lais, General Manager for Appsumer by InMobi. “When you look at the massive changes app marketers have had to address—the impact of ATT, SKAdNetwork attribution and looking ahead towards Android Privacy Sandbox, ad measurement became much more complex, especially for smaller apps who bore the brunt,” says Shumel Lais, General Manager for Appsumer by InMobi. “Our recent acquisition by InMobi gave us the opportunity to build a solution to help those players on the rise with the tools they need to grow.” Appsumer Starter leverages the core reporting infrastructure, designed for the scale of the biggest mobile app advertisers, combined with InMobi’s knowledge of diversifying the channel mix to deliver a solution enables app advertisers to reach for scale. Free entry for these first six channels is quick and easy to set up with Appsumer Starter providing smaller advertisers and independent app developers the tools to expand advertising channels quickly and effectively. Appsumer Starter delivers a view of high-level and granular insights across performance advertising channels. The free plan packs the following capabilities: Automated data ingestion: Cross-channel cost data from Facebook, Google, Apple Search Ads, TikTok, Snap and InMobi unified with conversion data from mobile measurement partners including Adjust, Appsflyer, Branch and Kochava. Easy-to-use dashboards and reports: Self-service dashboards and reports deliver high-level glanceable views of key KPIs and granular performance views to identify optimization opportunities for growth. Easy set-up and no fee: Free access to the most used channels and set-up that removes time spent reporting in a matter of days. Scaling app advertisers can leave behind their manual reporting processes in a matter of days by claiming their free account here. About Appsumer Appsumer by InMobi, is a leading performance insights platform built for performance marketing teams at consumer mobile apps who want to accelerate user acquisition more effectively. Appsumer aggregates and normalizes cross-channel cost, attribution, revenue, and predictive data and visualizes it in an easy-to-use business intelligence (BI) tool for user acquisition (UA) teams. This gives marketers a single tool to help them make more effective optimization decisions and potentially improve performance. Appsumer, part of InMobi, supports user acquisition teams at top-grossing consumer mobile apps worldwide including Lovoo, Miniclip, Trainline, and Picsart. For more information, visit www.appsumer.io About InMobi InMobi is a leading provider of content, monetization, and marketing technologies that help fuel growth for industries around the world. The company’s end-to-end advertising software platform, connected content and commerce experiences activate audiences, drive real connections, and diversify revenue for businesses globally. With deep expertise and unique reach in mobile, InMobi is a trusted and transparent technology partner for marketers, content creators and businesses of all kinds. Incorporated in Singapore, InMobi maintains a large presence in San Francisco, London, and Bangalore and has operations in New York, Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Delhi, Mumbai, Beijing, Shanghai, Jakarta, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, Melbourne, Seoul, Tokyo, and Dubai. To learn more, visit inmobi.com.

Read More