- Google’s upcoming policy change to AdSense, part of its ad stack used by publishers to monetize content, will ban media owners from using the ad network to promote spyware services.
- Publishers using AdSense will have to more stringently monitor monetization partners in order to avoid losing demand from the tens of thousands of advertisers on Google’s network.
- The update rolls out in August 2020.
In practice, publishers will no longer be able to display ads promoting software that can monitor the call and text messaging history on a person’s phone without their consent, covert GPS trackers, and surveillance equipment (including cameras, audio recorders, dash cams and nanny cams) “marketed with the express purpose of spying,” according to the new policy.
Google stated in a message to AdSense users that “content that falls under the Google Publisher Policies is not allowed to be monetized and you should not place ads against that content. Attempting to monetize policy-violating content may result in your account(s) being suspended or terminated.”
Publishers pushed to take action
Cory Schnurr, head of marketplace innovation at The Media Trust, explained that there’s a rising concern among publishers about their networks being used by nefarious actors.
“While publishers are sensitive to ad quality, it’s a limited group that actually enforce their policies, and the situation is worsening as teams hesitate to take action that could negatively affect revenue,” he told Adweek.