Raise your hand if you love nothing more than to cozy up to some good ol’ legal paperwork and Google ad policies reading when you have a moment of downtime. Oh wait… no? That’s not what you’re into? Ok, if we’re being honest, us either. Of course, nobody really likes to dig into “T”s & “C”s when they could be meditating, eating chocolate or literally doing anything else. But, legally binding advertising laws are actually quite important. And the Google personalization ad laws are a’changing, friends. So to help you out (and spare you from having to do the eye-watering task of reading through minutiae yourself), here’s what you should know. 

 

Changes are being made to eliminate societal biases. 

While many people find ad targeting creepy, all of us marketers can agree it’s incredibly valuable. Most ad platforms we use today include options to target ideal audiences and make sure those folks are the ones seeing the ads we’ve catered to them. But, Google has identified targeting in certain instances to be damaging. Specifically, they are working to “improve inclusivity for users disproportionately affected by societal biases.” 

While we love targeting, we love inclusivity more. But however you personally feel about this move, you’ve got to abide by the new rules if you want to continue advertising on Google. So, if you are promoting products or services related to housing, employment or credit, you will no longer be able to target audiences based on gender, age, parental status, marital status or ZIP code. 

 

You’ll be asked to acknowledge the changes. 

These policy changes are taking effect on October 19th 2020, and all advertisers must comply. According to Google, “potentially impacted advertisers will receive notifications in their Google Ads account prompting them to acknowledge these policy changes and to agree to comply with relevant local laws. Advertisers who have not acknowledged these changes…will be unable to create any new campaigns until they click to accept the changes.” So, make sure you’ve acknowledged the policy updates and have signaled your agreement to comply well ahead of the October 19th deadline so your campaigns don’t get held up. 

 

Start updating your campaigns now. 

It goes without saying that being unable to target audiences in the same way you may have before will require a change in ad strategy. Don’t wait until the updates are in effect; start creating new campaign concepts now. Remember that just because you can’t target via certain criteria, you can (and should) still tailor the messaging and graphics of your ads to resonate with your ideal audience. 

Google ad policies and other advertising laws are sure to keep changing over time, in response to new technologies, social issues and other factors outside of advertisers’ control. And while you can’t reverse the changes, you can roll with the punches – and stay in control of what goes onto your ads themselves. Need help reworking your ad strategy or coming up with new concepts? Call us any time!