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March 10, 2002
Google Pulls Firearms Related Ads

An advertiser had his non firearm related AdWord purchases pulled for "policy" reasons apparently because his site offers firearm related merchandise.

Dell just had a recent issue in a similar vain, though it clearly wasn't Dell's choice - as it seems to be in this case - to not do business with legitimate businesses in the firearms field. It would seem like a difficult policy for Google to defend in light of the fact that they routinely sell "sex, ass f***, c**t, t*ts, etc..." Choosing which items to support in the Bill of Rights for business interest is risky with a largely libertarian audience.

As a private business Google clearly has the right to not take certain advertisers, and I certainly understand and applaud that there is no evidence that they would change search rankings. However, choosing not to allow firearms advertising while taking hardcore porn, tobacco, online "pharmaceuticals" like Viagra, cable descramblers, even abortion clinics, seems to make a loud political statement to me. Don't get me wrong - I am very glad they take all of these other ads - let speech ring. However, excluding firearms seems to be sponsoring a corporate position on a loud debate.

I had been very impressed with all of Google's corporate decisions - until this one. Saddest is the fact that AdWords is such a well executed strategy.

Posted by hoffmang | March 10, 2002 12:43 AM


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