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Old 07-02-2005   #1
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Post AdWords: No Tobacco but Pornography OK... why?

I was wondering whether anyone had any information on why Google prohibits advertising of tobacco and tobacco related products yet allows ads for pornography?

I am trying to write a paper on Google about their Content Policy selection criteria but am struggling to come up with answers.

Thanks in anticipation.
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Old 07-03-2005   #2
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well, if I had to guess, many people buy cigarettes onlline with intent of skipping out on taxes.

I do not think there is a specific porn tax though.
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Old 07-03-2005   #3
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So I am sure you know about this page:

https://adwords.google.com/select/contentpolicy.html

The reasons for the tobacco ban are not stated but I guess the search engine is like the laws that are spreading throughout the world banning smoking in public places... why risk a lawsuit down the line.

I am amzed noone has yet to try go for the advertising venues that pushed the smoking on an unsuspecting world.
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Old 07-03-2005   #4
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It is often very difficult to find any logical reason why Google reject certain products in AdWords. In Denmark we recently had a case in the media with a completely legal local company that sells bear online. Google won't accept ads for that. But they do accept ads for wine. Reason? Google never cared to reply in public! Result: Google was made a fool in public yet again.
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Old 07-03-2005   #5
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why Google prohibits advertising of tobacco and tobacco related products yet allows ads for pornography?
It's because tobacco gives you cancer and porn only gives you hairy palms...

Kidding aside, we talked about the wine vs beer issue a while ago: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/...ead.php?t=2666 and still don't have an answer.

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Old 07-03-2005   #6
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I think it comes directly from the views of the company founders, I don't think there is an logic in it as such, its an emotional thing.
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Old 07-06-2005   #7
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Covered this a bit in an article for our paid SEW members:
http://searchenginewatch.com/_subscr...le.php/3411101

Quote:
Indeed, it remains true that Google can largely choose to accept or deny whatever ads it wants. For example, gun and tobacco ads are out, but peddling porn in Google ads is OK. Some may not agree with these choices, but they remain Google's to make.

"We have the right to choose who we do business with," said Sandberg.
See also:
http://www.restoringamerica.org/arch...e_porn_ok.html

Quote:
When asked to qualify Google's policy of accepting porn ads but refusing those for guns and "vices," Krane fell back on the First Amendment.

"[The company] believes strongly in freedom of expression. Therefore, we offer broad access to all ranges of content across the Web without censoring our results," he said.
So short answer? Google thinks tobacco is a bad thing and doesn't want to make money off those pushing it. Otherwise, it would carry those ads. Same too for guns. But porn? Google's cool with earning money from porn. Plus, they probably make a heck of a lot more money off porn ads than gun or tobacco ads combined. Might make it harder for them to take a stance against porn, if they really did have a moral problem with it.
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Old 07-06-2005   #8
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I think that despite Ian's joking, it really does come down to a question of morality and this is Google's way of showing theirs. It may not agree with typical American morality, where sex is taboo and evil but violence is promoted in every commercial endeavor possible, but it's still a logical form of morality.

I think we'd find it much more common in countries like Germany and Italy where guns and violence suffer harsh censorship, but nudity is regarded as more natural.

I, personally like the fact that they are taking a moral stance on this issue, even if it is by proxy. This isn't the place to say whether I agree or disagree with their politics, but it's refreshing to see a major company show some 'cajones' in our current political climate.
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Old 07-06-2005   #9
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This is simply my own opinion and observation but I think sadly enough we live in a day and age where pornography is becoming more socially acceptable than smoking.
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Old 07-06-2005   #10
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Originally Posted by David Wallace
This is simply my own opinion and observation but I think sadly enough we live in a day and age where pornography is becoming more socially acceptable than smoking.
Hey porn won't kill you!!! Maybe go blind but won't kill you.
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Old 07-07-2005   #11
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I remember back in the day when they took the Marlboro Man in Times Square down. In the US, it's now illegal to advertise tobacco on billboards and on TV, hence we never see any stogie commercials. I guess that Google followed suit, though I'm not knowledgable on laws governing tobacco and the Internet.
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Old 07-07-2005   #12
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Originally Posted by AussieWebmaster
Hey porn won't kill you!!! Maybe go blind but won't kill you.

This is the quote of the day and will perhaps go down in Internet history as a classic.
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Old 07-07-2005   #13
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Originally Posted by The Generator
This is the quote of the day and will perhaps go down in Internet history as a classic.
I wouldn't go that far.....
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Old 07-14-2005   #14
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Originally Posted by AussieWebmaster
I wouldn't go that far.....
yeah, usually your closing lines are much better. ABC
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Old 07-21-2005   #15
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So according to Google, porn is "good" for society and guns are "bad".

I tend to really doubt this is a morality issue with them. It seems more likely that their lawyers and accountants weighed the 2 business and made the decision.
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Old 07-21-2005   #16
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So according to Google, porn is "good" for society and guns are "bad".
I personally agree very much with that. So to me that would be perfectly moral.
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Old 07-21-2005   #17
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I think you have to ban something just to avoid an amoral appearance, you can always point to it (bans) as a badge of morality, a conscience. It fools a lot of people.
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Old 07-21-2005   #18
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I don't think that is fair. There is a heck of a lot of ground between bad and good. If you have only to two categories in life, you are stuck with all the stuff that is neither. A quick example: if giving to charirity is good, and stealing is bad, what is reducing your tax via legal deductions? Good and bad are simple terms best left for children's fairy tales.

So my unjustifiable take: tabacco is unadulterated evil. Tabacco is addictive and a known killer. Pornography, while morally questionable, is not evil or bad in the absolute sense.

I think Google probably feel that promoting a product that gets its users addicted and then kills them is as close to evil as could be, breaking their do no evil policy. I don't think anyone thinks pornography is "good", but it certainly is not as indefensible as smoking.

Of course, the fact porn is worth a bazillion times more than tabacco probably doesn't hurt
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Old 07-21-2005   #19
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Good and bad are simple terms best left for children's fairy tales.
Maybe I am still a child then
I think Nazi's a bad. I think child molesters and pedophiles are even worse (and one dosen't exclude the other) and I think dictators in general are really bad. I would not, personally, promote any of them. In my mind they are simply too bad to have anything to do with - or even worse, help them spread their ugly words. But thats just my childish mind, I guess ....
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Old 07-21-2005   #20
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I think your post proves otherise Mikkel.

Quote:
I think Nazi's a bad. I think child molesters and pedophiles are even worse
See? A scale. Good and bad and two simple camps is for kid's fairy tales. The world is too complicated to ever reduce to two terms. Not everything is good or bad, and good and bad really don't do justice to all the ills in the world, nor all the good or neutral.

Having just two camps, good and evil, and putting things in only those two is what all fairy tales are absed on. Evil step sister. Wicked witch.

To carry such logic further and have porn and tobacco put into only good or evil categories is nigh impossible, and over simplistic.
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