Google has just announced additional policies to protect consumers and advertisers in the UK from fraudulent ad practices aimed at taking advantage of people through financial scams.
The new policy. Last year Google blocked or removed 58.9 million financial services bad ads globally. This week Google made an announcement outlining the new guidelines.
The Google Ads Financial Products and Services policy will be updated to require that all advertisers be FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) authorised for debt adjusting and debt counselling in order to show debt services advertisements starting from 6 December 2022. Insolvency practitioners, including those licensed by a recognized professional body, will no longer be allowed to advertise for these services. Advertisers must successfully complete the updated verification process by the time enforcement begins on 16 January 2023. The policy update also allows advertisers that are included on the FCA Financial Services Register as ‘exempt professional firms’ or recognised investment exchanges to be verified as UK FCA-authorised advertisers.
The financial services verification policy. The original policy was launched in 2021 and has led to a decline in reports of ad scams. The same policy has also been rolled out in Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, India, Portugal, Brazil, France, Spain, and Germany.
Stop Scams initiative. Last year Google joined Stop Scams UK, a collaboration of businesses across the banking, telecoms and technology sectors that develop best practices to stop scams. Google also pledged $5 million in ad credits to support local awareness campaigns in the UK to ensure that the general public is informed on how to stop scammers online and offline.
Dig deeper. You can read more info about the new policies here.
Why we care. Marketers and brands in the UK that promote financial products will need to be FCA authorised before advertising their services. Advertisers who do not comply will run the risk of getting their ads or accounts suspended.
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