A new Policy Center will be coming to AdWords this September. Google says that policies will be streamlined and that there will be more transparency into why policies exist and what advertisers should do to comply.
A preview of the updated Policy Center is live now. While most advertisers likely won’t be affected by the change, Google points out that there will be some new restrictions relating to weapons, tobacco and fireworks in a new Dangerous Content policy.
The new policies are designed to clarify areas of misinterpretation. For example, knife manufacturers and retailers have often come up against seemingly arbitrary policy restrictions.
Here is the existing knife policy:
Google doesn’t allow the promotion of knives, such as automatic knives, switchblade knives, balisong or butterfly knives, stiletto knives, assisted opening knives, spring blades, knives with a trigger release, throwing knives, military knives, combat knives, fighting knives, in addition to disguised knives, such as air gauge, belt buckle, and lipstick case and writing pen knives.
Here is the revised policy that specifies dangerous knives and is more directive in intended use of the knives that will be prohibited:
Disapproval and suspension reason: “Dangerous knives”
Knives that are designed or promoted as products that can be used to injure an opponent in sport, self-defense, or combat Any knife design that provides a confrontational advantage (including disguised appearance or assisted-opening mechanism)
- Examples: Switchblades, tactical knives, fighting knives, sword-canes, balisongs, military knives, push daggers, throwing axes
Of course, many advertisers will also be looking for more uniform enforcement of these kinds of policies from Google, so that their competitors aren’t allowed to advertise products that they’ve had flagged. Advertisers are encouraged to review the new policies prior to the September launch.
A Google spokesperson issued the following statement, “In the coming months, we’ll be refreshing our AdWords policy center. We’re introducing fewer sections, easier to understand language, and better organizing the layout of our policies. In terms of practical effect, most advertisers will see no changes although we are tightening some restrictions around Dangerous Products and Services, particularly around weapons (such as prohibiting ads for stun guns), fireworks, and tobacco (such as ads for cigarette vending machines).”