Google In Its Efforts To Improve Transparency Will Now Require The Advertisers To Prove Their Legal Identity

  • Google will now require the advertisers to confirm their identity and this policy will be enforced in the United States initially.
  • Google may prioritize advertisers for specific categories to prove their legal identity first and how advertisers will be able to complete the verification process.

Google is introducing an identity verification process for all the advertisers to provide users with more transparency about who is actually advertising on Google’s platform. The company will now require all the advertisers to prove their legal identity or Google will stop displaying their ads. Google is taking the initiative in an effort to increase the transparency of its platform and reduce the spread of misinformation via ads. Google will enforced political advertisers to prove their legal identity since 2018 and the new initiative seems to be an expansion of that measure. Google stated that the company has verified political advertisers in thirty countries since then.

Google announced to enforce the new identity verification rule in the United States initially. The company will enforce the new rule in the United States during this summer and the change will be rolled out globally in the next few years which is an extension of the ID verification policy implemented by Google for political advertisers back in the year 2018.

Google stated that it will verify the advertisers in certain categories on a prior basis. These categories include the advertisements of products, goods, and services such as travel and tech ads. Educational and information content will also be included in those categories. Lastly, Google explained that regulated industries-related advertisements such as "gambling and games, financial products or services, healthcare products or services etc." will also be verified on a priority basis.

According to Google’s policy, when the identity verification process will be initiated, the existing advertisers who have not been verified will need to submit verification documents in 30 days. If an advertiser fails to submit the required documents within 30 days, Google will stop featuring their ads. The unverified advertisers will have to submit documents such as business incorporation paperwork, personal ID, or other related documents that prove their legal identity and their country of operation.

After the new identity verification rule which will be initiated this summer, users will be provided the option to view the verified legal name of the advertiser. Moreover, consumers will also be able to view the country of operation of the advertiser. Users can view these details from the context menu available in the Search ads.

John Canfield, Director of product management for ads integrity at Google published a blog post and stated that the identity verification initiative will make it easier for users to understand who is actually advertising a product behind the ads which Google displays. He also stated that users will be able to make more informed decisions while using Google’s advertising controls with the help of this identity verification change. Verifying advertisers will also help the company to control scams and information spread via ads.

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