weeks - 2:02 pm on Mar 15, 2010 (gmt 0)
Old guy weighs in with meaningless background...
First, this reminds me of the concerns "back in the day" publishers had about ad networks. We've come a long way.
Second, these categories have always been a problem in the ad industry. And, as a print publisher, I have always had trouble with understanding some of the broad-based objections.
Take, for example, the Super Bowl ads for a certain well known supplier of Internet services. These ads are of questionable taste and effectiveness in the minds of many. Indeed, the firm has had some of its proposed ads rejected by the networks. The category, however, is fine.
At the same time, some of the ads for ED medications are very thoughtful and tasteful. Likewise, most advertising for wines should be acceptable, in my opinion, most anywhere. Samuel Adams' ads for their beer is a straightforward appeal that should not offend anyone.
Again, I very much question the running of ads, while they are very tasteful, of some products which claim health benefits which are doubtful at best.
Objecting to ads from entire categories of products is not good business nor is it appropriate social policy.
Google's move here is overdue.