Google bans cryptocurrency ads
Google bans cryptocurrency ad advertisements relating to the initial coin offering (ICO), cryptocurrency wallets, exchanges, and crypto trading advice. Besides that, from Jun 2018. there are ads restriction for forex and CFD-related ads. Only advertisers with a financial regulation license can create ads related to CFDs.
Google is the worlds leading search Engine Company and the second largest public-traded entity globally. With the rising call for more accountability of institutions that deal with the general public in ensuring fair, ethical, and open dealings, Google is not left behind in complying with these elements. In the recent past, there has been an uproar on the rising deceptive adverts running online, with a clear aim of confusing unsuspecting potential investors, and when they fall into the trap, they are ripped off their hard-earned money. Being a world leader in the advertising sector through its AdWord platform, Google has seen it necessary to exercise accountability by enabling only the certified financial advertisers on its platform. In its announcement, Google banned advertisements relating to the initial coin offering (ICO), cryptocurrency wallets, exchanges, and trading advice. The ban also extends to other financial products such as binary options and spread betting. Forex advertising network will change after the new Google restriction to forex trading ads.
In the past, google banned search terms for a lot of products. All these have to do with investor protection initiatives due to the rising fraudulent cases involving unauthorized brokers taking advantage of the high wave for quick cash in these unregulated financial products. With concerns mostly emanating from the US exchange commission concerning the ban on ICO advertisements, Google’s move is seen as a precaution to avoid a future clash with the authorities on its role in consumer data and protection. On the same note, other major players in the advertisement world such as Twitter, Facebook, Yandex have taken measures to control the same types of adverts on their sites, either by pre-approval or by the total ban, due to concerns they have raised over legitimacy and also because of maintaining the overall image of these sites.
What Does Google Ban Entail – Google Bans Forex Ads?
Google’s annual earnings in cryptocurrency and related products in financial adverts have been estimated to be over $25 million. Nevertheless, Google has mounted to the pressure of axing most of these adverts due to the security of its clients, consumer protection obligation, as well as the future accountability and company image. This is largely due to fraudulent cases associated with the unregulated cryptocurrency sector and the looming security and exchange commission rules on the protection of cryptocurrency investors. Canada and the U.S. have been at the forefront leading the war on the ban for adverts on ICO and calling for the establishment of regulations in the online financial sector, especially cryptocurrency, which in the recent past has hit the world by storm. Many investors have lost billions of dollars, mostly emanating from deceiving adverts which unsuspecting traders fall into the prey. With. This has come to the attention of Google as a main player in the advert world.
Financial Services: New restricted financial products policy (June 2018)
In June 2018, Google will update the Financial services policy to restrict the advertisement of Contracts for Difference, rolling spot forex, and financial spread betting. In addition, ads for the following will no longer be allowed to serve:
Binary options and synonymous products
Cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice)
Ads for aggregators and affiliates for the following will no longer be allowed to serve:
Contracts for Difference
Rolling spot forex
Financial spread betting
Binary options and synonymous products
Cryptocurrencies and related content.
Advertisers offering Contracts for Difference, rolling spot forex, and financial spread betting will be required to be certified by Google before they can advertise through AdWords. Certification is only available in certain countries.
To be certified by Google, advertisers will need to:
Be licensed by the relevant financial services authority in the country or countries they are targeting
Ensure their ads and landing pages comply with all AdWords policies
Comply with relevant legal requirements, including those related to complex speculative financial products
Advertisers can request certification with Google starting April 2018 when the application form is published.
This policy will apply globally to all accounts that advertise these financial products. For more details, see About restricted financial products certification.
(Posted March 2018)
The force on the ban will come to effect this June 2018. In the mentioned financial areas, brokers will be undergoing thorough scrutiny before they get approval for placing the adverts. This will eliminate unscrupulous brokers who sell unregistered securities or pose as genuine brokers to run away with investors’ money. After scrutiny of the broker information, Google will either reject or approve the specific broker. When approved, the broker will be issued a special certification to advertise their product in their requested target region. Nevertheless, for one to qualify for certification by Google, the firms they represent must have acquired the necessary licensing to operate in the regions they intend their adverts to target. On the other hand, they must have conformed with various laws and regulations regarding their business to meet the AdWord requirements for the specific geographical area.
All these processes aim to bring in some sanity in the cryptocurrency sector by offering protection to the investors, especially from deceiving adverts being run by fraudulent brokers posing as legit traders. The cryptocurrency craze, especially the one witnessed by Etherium and Bitcoin, has seen hundreds of other digital coins emerge, with fraudulent traders taking this advantage and floating offers in terms of advertisement for unregistered securities, which has seen either a total market collapse of the specific securities or marginal shift in value for a short period. In this process, billions of dollars have been lost, hence the call for regularization, especially in the adverts concerning this sector as it acts as the backbone of the whole process.
A good example of a fraudulent case concerns a California based tech company Tezos, which conducted an ICO in July 2017 and got a staggering $232 million, which later would emerge that it was a fraudulent deal based on a lawsuit filed at a superior court in San Francisco, alleging violation of U.S securities law. In such a case, Google and other social media players who are more involved in advertisements of such nature have seen the need to regulate the advert content. This is amid growing concern of investor protection following huge losses due to reluctance on streamlining the advertising sector and digital currencies.
The Effects of the Ban on Google, Brokers and the Investors
For the brokers, the best time to make a difference is now. All is not lost. In fact, this is the time for those who offer genuine adverts to take advantage and get certification as the unscrupulous brokers get scared. For genuine brokers, this is the time for the right push for their products. As Google positions itself as an open and genuine platform, the brokers have the opportunity to associate with these attributes now and in the future to gain investor confidence. On the other hand, as the market penetration will become difficult, brokers can explore other options such as optimizing the Google search ranking, operating genuine websites, and performing offline marketing. On the same note, trading companies can increase their social media presence and increase traditional advertising such as below-the-line marketing and Radio or TV advertisements. This will ensure that even when they face the ban on Google AdWords, their presence is still felt on the other platforms, and they can maintain their clientele informed.
On the investor side, the Google ban means more than ‘just a ban.’ This will increase client confidence and user experience, which is good for the company also. The users will feel safe and valued, giving them the confidence to transact over the platform. The ban is also assurance that the adverts that appear on AdWords are genuine and verified by Google, creating a responsible environment where users can feel secure with whoever they will be dealing with. Investors are always concerned about how secure their payment will be. Therefore, having a notion that the existing brokers are certified, and the adverts thus are genuine, in turn, provides confidence in investment choice. The move will also ensure that fraudulent cases are reduced, and in cases where they appear, Google is aware of how to hold them accountable as it will have already verified the user and known them more.
Without consumers, organizations can barely survive, and thus the need to be more vigilant in protecting them whenever possible. The move by Google can be termed a broad movement for the interest of its users and to avert future troubles of being held accountable for the damages or losses that may emanate from a non-regulated advert sector. This move has also seen other big players extend the same measures, and sooner or later, many investors hope that they will operate in a world where deceiving adverts will be a thing of the past and where brokers will be responsible. This reality is not far from considering the measures being taken to attain a free, fair, and genuine advertisement world.