Google Cracks Down On Short-Term Loan Ads

Chris CrumSearchNews

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Google has reportedly cracked down on payday loan services using AdWords, which are in violation of its policies and government regulations. reports (via Search Engine Land) that Google has pulled all Moneysupermarket ads as part of the crackdown, which is the result of increasing government pressure on Google.

The publication shares a statement from a Google spokeswoman, who said, "We have a set of policies which govern what ads we do and do not allow on Google. We have strict policies for those advertising short term loans, and make it very clear that advertisers need to comply with local regulations and be transparent about their fees, implications of non-payment and collection practices. If we discover sites that are breaking this policy we will take appropriate action."

Here's what Google says about short-term loans in its AdWords policies:

Short-term loans are defined as secured or non-secured loans with a duration of 60 days or less. Google doesn't allow websites for short-term loans that don't include all of the information below (includes lenders, lead generators, and aggregators of short-term loans):

  • Legitimate contact information or physical address (P.O. box addresses are not acceptable)
  • Compliance with other state or local regulations related to short-term loans
  • Prominent disclosure of the following on the landing page, meaning that it's shown in the same font type, size, and color as the base text on the landing page and presented in a way that is clear and conspicuous to users:
    • APR
    • Implications of non-payment, including the following:
      • Financial implications (whether fees are charged and/or interest rates are raised)
      • Collection practices
      • Potential impact to users' credit score
      • Renewal policy information, including if the renewal is automatic and if there are fees associated with the renewal

      Aggregators/lead generators may provide sample implications from their network to satisfy the above requirements. Implications of non-payment should be grouped together in one location on the landing page.

Google has different policies for Japan, Singapore, the UK and the US. These can all be found here.

Advertisers who have had their accounts suspended are advised to review the guidelines, remove all unacceptable content from ad text and their websites, provide users with accurate info about business, products and services, ensure that their sites contain all info required by state and local lawas, and be transparent about the products or services being promoted.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.