Google to Start Verifying Election Advertisers in 2018

Political Advertiser Will Soon Have to be Verified to Run Ads on Google

Today many politicians, campaign organizers, as well as advertising, consulting, web design companies received a notification from Google indicating that they will begin verifying the identity of advertisers that run election ads.

This policy will affect advertisers that run ads for politicians who hold or are running for federal office in the U.S. That means this new policy will apply to current, and people campaigning to be President and Vice President of the United States, and members of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate, as well as people or organizations that purchase advertising for them.

Advertisements from Google used to be only seen in the search results on their website. Now you may see an ad by a Google advertiser just about anywhere on any internet connected device you use. Ads are run on websites, in an email, on computer software, and in apps. Even if you are using some type of ad blocker, these ads and advertisers may still be able to track you even if you don’t see them.

Google did note that this policy doesn’t apply to ads for products or services, including promotional political merchandise like t-shirts or mugs, or news coverage of federal election campaigns, candidates, or current elected federal officeholders.

Other major internet companies that allow people and companies to advertise are likely to implement similar policies.

Here’s the letter that was released by Google and sent out to past and current advertisers on May 3, 2018.

Dear Advertiser,

In May 2018, Google will update the political content policy to require that all advertisers running election ads in the United States be verified by Google. This policy will apply to advertisers running ads that feature a federal candidate or current elected federal officeholder.

Our records show that this policy change may affect your account.

To be verified by Google, you’ll have to provide proof of your identity and information about where you’re based, as well as confirm that you’re a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, and are legally permitted to run these ads.

You’ll be able to apply for verification starting May 31, 2018. Learn more about verification for election advertising in the United States.

Thank you for participating in this verification process and helping us provide transparency for our users.

Sincerely,
The Google AdWords Team

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