Politico

Google will end political ad ban this week


Google will lift its political ad ban on Thursday, ending its five-weeklong prohibition aimed at curbing disinformation in the aftermath of the 2020 election.

Google announced the decision in an email to digital consultants, after directly informing several top clients on Wednesday morning, according to one source familiar with the discussions.

“While we no longer consider the post-election period to be a sensitive event, we will still rigorously enforce our ad policies, which strictly prohibit demonstrably false information that could significantly undermine trust in elections or the democratic process, among other forms of abuse,” said Mark Beatty, Google’s head of industry, in an email Wednesday morning.

Google’s decision comes days before the Electoral College votes will be tallied, as well as one month before the Georgia Senate runoffs, leaving campaigns and committees some time to get their digital strategies back on track.

Facebook, which also instituted a ban on political ads ahead of the election, has not yet announced if or when it will lift it.

The two social media giants — which have aired billions of dollars’ worth of political ad content in recent years — said they wouldn’t accept new political ads after Election Day in an effort to limit the spread of misinformation about the results.

But both companies initially declined to give firm details about when they planned to restart their ad programs, upending digital strategy around two all-important Senate runoffs that will determine the balance of power in Congress.

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