Google, the web’s top search engine, according to a news release, has banned the ads of an environmental group protesting major cruise line Royal Caribbean’s sewage treatment methods, drawing interest to the editorial policies that control the popular Google AdWords program.
Last week, Oceana placed two advertisements with Google, the first describing Oceana’s mission and linking to the organization’s website, http://www.oceana.org, the second focusing on Oceana’s well-known campaign to stop cruise pollution. Google removed the ads after two days, citing the cruise pollution ad for “language that advocates against Royal Caribbean,” and the general ad for using “language advocating against the cruise line industry and cruisers.”
Google’s public editorial guidelines make no mention of any such specific prohibition, stating only that the company reserves the right to exercise editorial discretion when it comes to the advertising it accepts.
According to a Google statement to the Associated Press:
The ad violated Google’s policy against ads criticizing other groups or companies, said spokeswoman Cindy McCaffrey.
“We set the editorial guidelines the way we want them,” McCaffrey said.
If anything, Oceana has drawn more interest to their cause via today’s news than they normally would buying a limited amount of Google AdWords. When I search for “cruise line” on Google now, the top result shown is a Google News result for this same story in an online newspaper. Perhaps Oceana planned this…. if so GENIUS! If not, well… excellent way to capitalize on the story!