Omar Oakes
Apr 6, 2020

Google and Twitter reverse coronavirus ad bans

Platforms had initially banned coronavirus-related paid messaging in order to stop spread of misinformation.

Google and Twitter reverse coronavirus ad bans

Google and Twitter will no longer ban advertising that includes messaging related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The tech companies, each heavily dependent on advertising revenue, had initially banned advertising that mentioned "coronavirus" for fear of spreading misinformation on their platforms. Google and Twitter also heavily rely on automated content moderation (instead of humans, for the most part) to sustain their high-volume ad business models.

However, Twitter will now allow marketers to communicate their responses to the pandemic in paid tweets, Ad Age reports. Sarah Personette, Twitter’s head of client solutions, said "the messaging that brands and businesses can provide to the world… are going to be positively received".

Last month, Twitter issued guidelines on how brands should communicate durng the crisis and stopped them from using paid campaigns to promote coronavirus-related conversations to wider audiences.

Google has also U-turned on banning coronavirus-related advertising after complaints from US Democratic politicians, who said the ban would block criticism of president Donald Trump over his handling of the pandemic. Trump, a Republican, is seeking re-election in this year’s vote.

A Google spokesperson told Protocol: "As the Covid-19 situation evolves, we've been adjusting our enforcement to ensure that we are protecting users while prioritizing critical information. We are looking at ways to support limited Covid-19-related ads from hospitals, medical providers, government entities and non-governmental organisations."

Related Articles

Just Published

17 hours ago

Uproar: Are animal portrayals in ads a new brand risk?

Advertisers and agencies love animals, because animals sell. But a Year of the Tiger Gucci campaign that made activists growl shows that the definition of what’s appropriate may be evolving when it comes to using the world's fauna.

17 hours ago

Mark Heap on ‘moving across the aisles’ to ...

Media agencies offer broadly the same services as one another, and use propositions like ‘good growth’ and ‘people first’ to establish an identity. But what do these mean, in practical terms, and how do they influence leadership strategies? Mark Heap takes us inside the industry.

17 hours ago

The ride of the tiger: Feast your eyes on BMW's ...

While other brands make long, dramatic Chinese New Year films, the carmaker and TBWA's Bolt have programmed in a very different route: 90 seconds that's 'nothing but sheer joy'.

17 hours ago

The Beijing Olympics: A non-starter for global sponsors

SHANGHAI ZHAN PODCAST: Beijing-based sports-marketing expert Mark Dreyer says the games will see largely Chinese brands targeting the China market, with many employing Chinese-American skier/model Eileen Gu.