Tech giant Google now requires all its advertisers to verify their identities including their country of origin. The new rule by the company was already present but affected only political ads. It now applies to all advertisements. Google is likely to take the new step to control scams and false information spreading through the web.
Users will start seeing disclosures along with various ads from this summer. This will begin with companies in the US first, before expanding worldwide. As per the new rule, buyers will need to provide personal identification and business incorporation documents to prove who they actually are. Users who later see their ads will be able to click on “about the advertiser” next to it, getting to know more about them.
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“This change will make it easier for people to understand who the advertiser is behind the ads they see from Google and help them make more informed decisions when using our advertising controls. It will also help support the health of the digital advertising ecosystem by detecting bad actors and limiting their attempts to misrepresent themselves,” wrote ad integrity head John Canfield in a blog post.
Considering the scale of the new implementation, Canfield suggests that the process may take years to complete. Meanwhile, Google is prioritizing advertisers who sell products and services, promotional information, and educational content. The company is also paying attention to heavily regulated industries including health care and gambling.
Google to give advertisers a month to verify themselves
Companies and individuals will be given a month to complete the verification after Google notifies them. If they fail this, their ads will be taken down. The tech giant already requires some companies to prove that they possess professional certifications to advertise. However, this is the first time identity verification will be implemented on such a large scale. As per a report by The Wall Street Journal, Google has been filled with fake business listings on its Maps service. The company also banned advertisements against certain categories like rehab centers, since they appear too lucrative for unverified companies.