AdWords stonewalling a selected public of customers with standard replies sends a very powerful message to the targets. (Who in his right mind wants to alienate their "good" customers?)
I have seen some of my adwords go from 0,17$ to 5,00$ overnight, knocking 75% of the most potent or promising searchterms out of the race.
It looks like someone is implementing a regulating tool. Economists have long known that pricing goods out of the range of their customer's ability to pay is the most effective deterent to future transactions. So much for the whip. That leaves the carrot. It seems google wants to prod us on to more emphasis on making sites evolve rather than concentrating on profitability.
And never forget: a good businessleader teaches his customers to behave the way he expects them to, that's part of his job.