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Is "Promotion" advertising or editorial

Beer company wants to advertise

5:11 am on Mar 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have a popular food website. A beer company wants to advertise. I've read the AdSense Program Policies.

Not to sound silly, but would running this beer company's ads be "promotion"?

From my understanding, there's two kinds of "promotion", editorial ("I love this great beer Brand X") and advertising. Is google referring to both? Is my acceptance of a company's money for advertising "promotion" on my part? Has anyone actually explored this or does everyone just make conservative assumptions?

Of course, then there's the practical.
[NameOfBeverageAbove].com has Google ads. They also have pop up gambling ads and editorials about beer.

Adwords allows promotions of beer paraphernalia, like Hats and Hoodies. Should any ad just have a little picture of a hat on it so it's promoting the hat not the beer?

As a more general question, is there some prohibition against Internet advertising of alcohol. Why don't we see beer ads in general on the websites?

7:25 am on Mar 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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A couple further thoughts:

In rereading the policies, that section refers only to "content guidelines" and has no reference to advertising:

"publishers in the AdSense program may only place Google ads on sites that adhere to our content guidelines,"

That would seem to me to mean beer advertisements placed on a site are ok because they are not content, but am I reading it too narrowly?

Also, I looked around and saw that ESPN has beer ads (Adsonar, not AdSense though), so there must not be some general ban.

9:32 am on Mar 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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If I was you I would contact Google and make sure that they are happy. Just not worth the risk - especially as you are in a bit of a "grey" area re the promotion of alcohol.
11:27 am on Mar 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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As trannack suggests, it's best to ask Google if you're in doubt. It's an interesting question though.

One of my sites has a lot of editorial pub reviews, where the articles main focus is the food. There's always a paragraph specifically about the beers available but beer isn't the main theme. I've also written about visits to breweries which open to tourists. Adsense has no problem serving ads, usually for other pubs serving food or for tourist attractions.

I also checked a couple of other sites about pubs, which focus much more on the beer side of things - where to drink, which beer is best, etc. They're also displaying Adsense, with ads for pub-related items, but obviously not beer.

Google doesn't seem to have a problem with editorial when its wrapped up in an over-riding theme - eg food or tourism, but they might have a problem with is a specific beer seller placing actual ads on your site. Best to check.


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