Stop The Presses!

Stop The Presses! - Ronn TorossianRonn Torossian, CEO, 5WPR

Google’s new ad policy couldn’t have come at a worse time, particularly for nonprofit advocacy groups.  For marketers at companies trying to make profits, like Ben & Jerry’s and Credo, who had been preparing their holiday ads, the changes could also be quite disruptive.


The plan for the new policy, which also affects YouTube, is to stop the spread of propaganda and distorted information.  The decision follows Twitter’s recent announcement and is also in response to numerous reports of deception during the 2016 elections.


Soon to be affected will be what Google classifies as “political or electoral ads.”  Ads that particularly mention candidates for office, political parties, and/or ballot measures will not be permitted.


As mentioned, political ads were banned as of December 3 and now Google will have sole authority in determining if an ad is political or electoral and will be barred.

Then, beginning January 6, 2020, more Google changes are set to make things a bit more confusing.  What Google calls “political affinity lists,” and some of the best strategies for reaching target audiences, will also be banned.


In reality, just about every business that’s been advertising on Google won’t have to do anything new.  To be safe, marketers must ensure they are clear and direct customers to pertinent content. 


Discovery ads are new. When Google introduced the discovery feed to mobile apps last year, it didn’t include ads.  Seen as a way to compete with Facebook, the discovery ads consist of four main parts:

1. High quality images

2. 40-character headline

3. 90-character description

4. Call to action button. 

A combination of up to five different parts can also be mixed or matched.

Already increasing in popularity in discovery ads are six-second videos.  Google had been promoting Bumper Machine, a tool that YouTube was among the first to adopt and offer free to its advertisers.  The program can take videos of 30, 60 and 90 seconds that have already been produced and running on YouTube and reduce them to six seconds via its machine learning. 

A study done for the Mobile Marketing Association revealed that it takes less than a half-second to grab a viewer’s attention.  That, and the ability to craft a shorter video from one that’s already been produced and paid for, has a lot of appeal to budget-conscious marketers.

Any marketers testing or about to launch a new ad format should check in with the staff at Google ad support just to be sure.  Marketers can also obtain the latest information about requirements and restrictions, such as ad body or headline, image, video and file size limits and requirements and aspect ratios.


As before, marketers need to ensure that the company landing page is the actual URL, since Google still prohibits inappropriate destinations.  Also banned are sites not accessible by most browsers, as well as those under construction and those that have deactivated the back button of browsers.

Cabello Issues Apology for “Racist” Language - Ronn TorossianAbout the Author: Ronn Torossian is  CEO of 5WPR, an influencer marketing agency.