As of October 19, 2020, Google has implemented new restrictions for ads running in the housing, credit, or employment verticals with the intention of eliminating discriminatory advertising practices. This means advertisers may no longer target based upon age, gender, parental status, marital status, or zip code for any ads running within any of these three verticals.
This change has been implemented in an effort to improve inclusivity for users who are disproportionately impacted by societal biases. The policy change applies to the U.S. and Canada. Here is a breakdown of what types of ads will fall under each category:
- Housing: Includes ads such as housing listing sites, individual houses for sale or rental, or real estate services.
- Employment Includes ads for jobs, job recruitment sites, and job listing sites.
- Credit: Includes ads for credit cards, loans, mortgages, car loans, appliance loans, and short-term loans.
What Does This Mean for Advertisers?
Advertisers placing ad campaigns with the potential to be impacted by the new policy update will receive a notification within their Google Ads account prompting the user to acknowledge the policy changes and confirm compliance. If an advertiser has not acknowledged these changes, they will not be able to create any new campaigns on the Google Ads platform until the changes are accepted.
Advertisers who currently have ads running promoting housing, employment, or credit products and services will need to update existing targeting to remove anything related to age, gender, parental status, and marital status. Additionally, geographic targeting within any of these three verticals now prohibits the use of zip code targeting, so geotargeting will need to be updated where applicable. Any existing campaigns featuring ads within one of these three categories that do not update targeting to comply with the new rules will no longer be eligible to serve.
Google’s new changes follow closely behind Facebook, which implemented similar targeting restrictions for the same ad categories on their platform last year. For specific examples of which ads will be categorized as a housing, employment, or credit ad, you may read about the policy on Google.
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