Google to let users turn off the option to display alcohol, gambling ads on YouTube

In a respite for millions of users globally, Google has introduced a new control in Ad Settings that will enable people to see fewer alcohol and gambling ads on both Google and YouTube platforms.

The feature will roll out in Ad Settings gradually, beginning with YouTube Ads in the US.

The company said in a statement on Thursday, 10 December that it aims to introduce the update for Google Ads and YouTube globally in early 2021. Countries with legal restrictions against serving gambling and alcohol ads will not see any change in their policies.

“We’ve long had features like Mute this ad, where people can indicate which ads they’d rather not see. These controls live alongside our policies which determine when and where gambling and alcohol ads can be shown per local laws (age restrictions),” Google said.

“This new feature is an extra step, putting the choice in the user’s hands and enabling you to further control your ad experience”.

The new ad setting is also reversible and should you change your mind, you can click to see such ads again.

In many countries, the advertising of alcohol and gambling is banned on television and other visual mediums as well which is why alcohol companies find other ways to promote their brands without violating government policies.

Google said that it is working with the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) and its members, the leading beer, wine and spirits producers, taking into account their expertise on standards for responsible alcohol advertising and marketing.

“IARD’s engagement with Google means users of the platform, starting with YouTube, will have the option to see fewer alcohol ads. Our members are determined to give people greater control over whether they see alcohol-related marketing online,” said Henry Ashworth, President and CEO of the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking.

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