Google Ads’ Dark Money

Nandini Jammi and Claire Atkin, in the Check My Ads Branded newsletter:

Without seller crucial information, advertisers can’t meet the standards they’ve set for themselves, putting them at near constant business and legal risk.


The only tool Google gives advertisers today to manage these incredibly significant liabilities is… blocklists (or exclusion lists). But blocklists only enable you to block domains — not seller accounts. And the bad guys learned how to evade domain blocklists a long time ago.

The seller account-level is where the real abuse is taking place — with Google looking the other way.

A damning report, especially considering Google’s visibility and reach. Advertisers should clearly be allowed to say who they want to sell ads to, not just which domains they appear on. And, as Jammi and Atkin report, there are resellers and exchanges all down the chain. All of them should be compliant as well to be permitted to be a part of Google’s ad network. This is a basic level of ethical diligence anyone should expect.