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AdSense Publisher Says Threatened With Account Closure Over Sexually Suggestive Videos That Google Itself Monetizes

Google AdSense LogoAnother week, another loony story involving Google AdSense.

The website wrote on Thursday that it received notice from Google’s AdSense team demanding that they take AdSense ads off a news article page posted back in 2012. The article covered an intellectual property lawsuit in which a porn star sued rapper Bow Wow for using video of her pole dancing in one of his music videos without permission.

Techdirt points out there was no actually nudity or porn involved in the story and that it was a news story. What it did include were embeds of the two videos involved in the case which showed the pole dancing.

In an email from the AdSense policy team, forwarded by the sales team, TechDirt was informed that if AdSense ads weren’t removed from the page within three days the whole account would be shut down. The AdSense policy states, Publishers are not permitted to place Google ads or AdSense for search (AFS) search boxes on pages with adult or mature content.

Here’s the kicker. As Techdirt points out, both of the videos are on YouTube and can be seen with ads served by Google running next to them. An ad was showing up on the Bow Wow video today.

Google ad on suggestive video Youtube

Techdirt appeal, but was rejected because, they were told, “It looks like the video in question is fairly suggestive (ie there is a picture of a stripper pole).”

So what gives? How can Google claim a publisher can’t monetize a page because it contains content which Google itself is monetizing?

It would make somewhat more sense if Google didn’t give advertisers controls over the types of content they want their ads shown next to. But they do.

Right in AdWords advertisers can opt-out of content categories including sexually suggestive content defined as “Provocative pictures, text, and more.”

AdWords Sensitive content categories

What is the point of offering this option to advertisers if having their ads shown next to sexually suggested content is against the AdSense policy?

via Marketing Land


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