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This fall, we changed our policy around beer, for the first time allowing advertisements of its sale in the U.S. via AdWords. And starting today, in response to advertiser feedback we've received over the years, we'll permit the advertisement of hard alcohol and liqueurs that target the U.S.
To comply with the updated hard alcohol and liqueurs policy, advertisers must promote the information about hard alcohol and liqueurs that their websites contain, such as recipes and brand messages. Ads that directly promote the sale of hard alcohol and liqueurs are still not permissible through our program. In contrast, advertisements for beer may directly promote its sale.
For example, under the hard alcohol and liqueurs policy, you might market to individuals searching for helpful and relevant alcohol-related information by promoting holiday cocktail ideas or the caloric content of popular spiked beverages. Under the beer policy, you might state a specific sales promotion for a great winter ale.
Hard alcohol and beer manufacturers can now take advantage of online holiday traffic and initiate campaigns that appeal to their target audiences.
There's ZERO control over what age someone is when using a computer. How long until Google gets sued for pushing alcohol ads to minors? Hopefully soon.
How about cigarette ads, are those going to be solicited next?
I hope there will at least be an opt-out for adult ads in adsense.
How long until Google gets sued for pushing alcohol ads to minors? Hopefully soon.
There was some other reason, either ethical or legal. Assuming the legal thing hasn't changed - and they sure didn't say it had, we're left to assume that they decided that the additional revenue all of a sudden overcame their initial reservations.
You're making two assumptions, either of which may or may not be correct. In any case, the people at Google have the right to change their minds, for economic or any other reasons. Also, for all we know, "their minds" may be a different set of minds from the ones that made the initial decision. (One of the most frequent misconceptions about large corporations is the idea that they're monolithic, rigidly hierarchical organizations where every decision is handed down by an all-knowing CEO who's been appointed Ruler for Life.)
In any case, what's the big deal? They've loosened the rules on alcohol-related advertising slightly, but so what? The president of the Temperance Society might have reason to be upset by any relaxation of Google's rules, and the president of Booze-R-Us.com might be disappointed that Google hasn't fully opened the tap, but for most people and companies, Google's announcement is an item that might (but probably wouldn't) get mentioned on page 12 of the business section on a slow news day.
On this you are correct, the set of minds making decisions is as others have mentioned share holders. It's not just financial sectors scurrying for cover, this has spread so far beyond housing, credit it's not even funny, not even a little. Google will continue to scrape for extra income by using a small bag of tricks, and laying off 10,000 college graduates will free up some cash.
Growing up in some rather odd places, the first thing that runs through my mind when wine is mentioned is the drunks lying on the sidewalk with a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20. What it came down to is that you could advertise gallon jugs of fortified wine, but not 20 year old $300 Scotch.
Part of it also I highly suspect, is that Google is (or at least was) permeated by a certain amount of new-age leftiness, where #*$! ads were OK, but ads for gun holsters was not. Their ban on gun ads is supposedly based on legal issues, but so was the ban on some booze ads...