Google Announces All Ads Users Must Verify Their Identity

  • Google first required political advertisers to verify their identity in 2018
  • The search giant is now rolling out the process across all US Google Ads accounts over the next few months and globally over the next two years
  • Advertisers must comply, or will be banned from the platform
  • Consumers will be able to see who paid for an ad and the country they are located in

Google has today announced that all advertisers on their platform will be required to verify their identity. The move follows similar requirements for political advertisers that were announced back in 2018.

The change is being implemented to reduce cases of misrepresentation on the platform. This has likely been a long time coming, but accelerated by COVID-19 and the influx of dubious ads like fake vaccines recently. Google has also had a history of promoting ads from fake businesses, something the search giant has been trying to curb for some time.

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What Does This Mean For Me As An Advertiser?

You will be required to verify your identity as an individual or business with Google over the next couple of months. You’ll have 30 days to comply, or your ads account will be suspended.

Businesses will have to verify their identity and also the identity of one member of the organisation.

You’ll need to use a government-issued photo ID, for example a passport, to verify your identity. Your organisation must then provide legal information such as a tax return or W9 form.

Your information will be approved or rejected within five business days, Google claim.

Failure to comply with these rules will mean your ads account will be suspended.

What Does This Mean for Consumers?

This should bring greater transparency to the ads platform, allowing users to see exactly who is paying for ads.

We assume that Google is implementing this as a priority ahead of the upcoming US election campaign. Past campaigns have had significant issues with fake news and disinformation campaigns. Google will be looking to avoid this moving forwards, ensuring they don’t receive the same level of scrutiny Facebook has.

What Does This Mean for Digital Agencies?

Google has announced that digital agencies will be required to complete the verification process for each of their clients.

This is in addition to current certification processes used in the pharma and finance industries. Agencies must ensure clients are prepared for this, or risk losing their ad campaigns.

What Does Google Have to Say?

“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.”

Google’s director of product management for ads integrity, John Canfield

Time will tell how difficult these measures prove for advertisers, but legitimate advertisers should not have significant problems in complying with the new rules.

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