I am the National Campaign Director for the HEMP Party in Australia and usually that is a pretty damn fine thing to be. Lot's of nice people to meet, places to go, and the parties are better than Christmas!
But sometimes you encounter a downer. Something that really puts you off your cornflakes. It happened to me last week and I've been mulling it over, and y'know. I think it is the sort of thing that everyone should know all about. At least everyone who uses Google.
Apparently Google thinks me and my fellow law reformers are anti-family for trying to get cannabis re-legalised.
Google thinks that 'cannabis' is a 'non-family safe product'.
Funny. I thought exactly the opposite.I thought that pharmaceuticals were dangerous. Cannabis has been demonstrated to be one of the safest and most benign of all of the therapeutic agents on the planet! So how does it come to the point where Google, the famous big corporation that promised to 'do no evil' has decided to stop cannabis law reformers from advertising on their platform?
Well, to cut a long story short...
Having already got some lovely ads up and running on FaceBook drumming up membership and donations, the HEMP party of Australia recently submitted a whole string of advertisements to Google to run on their search engine web sites (see below).
But apparently cannabis law reform is such a subversive topic that Google simply refuses to run any of the ads.
Don't take my word for it: read what Google said in their reply to our reply to their refusal:
Hope you are doing good.
Thank you so much for your patience as I consulted the specialists regarding your ads. As promised, I gave them all the feedback you had given me during the call and asked them to re-review your ads. After careful and thorough deliberation, they informed me of the following reasons why your ads had been disapproved.
Firstly, all the image ads created and the site they lead to clearly state - Help end marijuana Prohibition. The promotion is not limited to the HEMP party membership or the leaf imagery. Since Marijuana is considered a Non Family Safe product by Google, image ads promoting it will be disapproved by the specialists per Google's policy on Non Family Safe image ads.
The specialist team have reviewed each of your active/paused image ads and found that all of these ads are promoting the re-legalization of marijuana. While this may be legal in certain countries, per AdWords policy, Google does not allow the promotion of such sites via image ads.
Also, please note that the specialists also consider the contents of an ad's landing page, while reviewing NFS image ads.
They have requested you to consider promoting your site via text ads only, as text ads with Non Family Safe content are allowed to run via AdWords.
For tips on creating text ads, you can visit here.
James, I earnestly hope you understand that we do not have any motive or purposeful intention in disapproving your ads. Google takes its advertising policies very seriously and these policies are applicable to all advertisers within our system, irrespective of who they are.
I know that these policies are not in conjunction with your desire and I am really sorry for it. But since the issue involves AdWords policy, I can only do so much.
As always, please do write in if you have any doubts or queries. Looking forward to your reply.