A Google blog post on Thursday announced that starting soon, the company will make it mandatory for all advertisers to verify their identity.
This measure is being taken by the tech giant to prevent advertisers from misrepresenting themselves. The company said that this measure will allow users and consumers to see who is running ads and which country they are located in.
This measure has been prompted by an increase in recent months in the number of ads for products from dubious advertisers, like fake vaccines, particularly because of the coronavirus pandemic. Another issue faced was fake businesses.
According to a spokeswoman of the company, the entire process the verification will have to be completed by all of the existing advertisers of the company within 30 days of them being notified about the process. The account of the advertiser will be suspended and the ability of the advertiser to serve ads will be cancelled if the advertisers do not submit the necessary documents by the time frame, Google said. the services can only be resumed once verification is completed.
Starting this summer, users of Google will be able to see disclosures that will have a list of this information on the advertiser once the users click “Why this ad?” on placements, the company said. the process of verification of advertisers will begin in the United States and then it will slowly be spread out throughout the world in all the markets where the company operates or where its services are available. The company expects the entire process to get completed within a few years.
The first time that Google started this kind of verification as a mandatory requirement for placing ads was in 2018 during in the cases of running election ads.
“This change will make it easier for people to understand who the advertiser is behind the ads they see from Google and help them make more informed decisions when using our advertising Controls,” John Canfield, Google’s director of product management for ads integrity, said in the post. “It will also help support the health of the digital advertising ecosystem by detecting bad actors and limiting their attempts to misrepresent themselves.”
Advertisers have to commit an “in-account identity check” to confirm they’re legitimate once the documents are submitted. Personal legal information such as a W9 or IRS document which shows the organization’s name, address and employer identification number will have to be submitted by organizations.
Legal identification on the organization’s behalf also has to be provided by an individual from the organization. Government-issued photo ID like a passport or ID cards will have to be showed by individual advertisers. While previously collecting this basic information about the advertiser, there was not requirement for verification of the documents, Google said.
The process has to be completed by all advertisers on its platforms, Google said. A spokeswoman of the company said that advertising agencies will be mandated ot provide verification of each of their advertiser clients on the advertiser’s behalf.
(Adapted from CNBC.com)