Google Ads Policy Change has Legal Squarely in Mind?

Hot off the Google notifications press…Google is updating their Ads Policies policies specifically to move against Clickbait. This seems consistent with their overall messaging around quality content and user experience. Google describes the policy:

The ‘Clickbait Ads Policy’ will cover advertisements which demonstrate clickbait tactics or use sensationalist text or imagery to drive traffic. Additionally, this policy will prohibit ads which use negative life events or strong negative emotions to pressure the viewer to take immediate action.

Now – a lot of legal issues do involve strong negative emotions and do require immediate action.

Further, the specific language Google uses to describe these upcoming changes seems to be directly targeting the legal industry:

Ads that use negative life events such as death, accidents, illness, arrests or bankruptcy to induce fear, guilt or other strong negative emotions to pressure the viewer to take immediate action.

I’m not quite sure how a bankruptcy, injury, or criminal defense lawyer can not run afoul of these specifications.  This holds true for other facets of law as well…divorce, immigration, etc.

The gray area here is around the end user’s personal mindset…but the reality remains that if we really can’t advertise around these issues a lot of the legal marketplace goes back to…organic!  (Ok – perhaps that’s some wishful thinking on my part, but…).

Stay tuned, I’ve invited Google to join us to talk through these questions as part of our Google Premier Partnership. If you’d like notification of when that talk will be (literally – I’m getting this info out to you before I can set up a date)… sign up for our newsletter.