Google to Start Limiting Political Advertisers’ Targeting Reach


Google recently announced global updates to its political ads policies. These updates come ahead of the 2020 U.S. general election. The tech giant has made these updates to its political ads policies in hopes to promote confidence in digital political advertising and trust in electoral processes worldwide.

About the Updates to the Political Ads Policies

The updates to its political ads policies will see Google now limiting election ads audience targeting reach. This means that political advertisers can now only target audiences based on age, gender, general location and postal code. They will no longer be able to target voters based on their political affiliation or public voter records.

The tech giant added that contextual advertising, like “serving ads to people reading or watching a story about the economy”, for example, would still be permitted. According to Google, the updates will apply to Google’s paid search placement, YouTube ads and display ads that it serves on third-party websites as part of its ad-tech offering.

According to the tech giants, the United Kingdom will be the first country to see these new changes come into effect. This will come ahead of its general election at the end of 2019. The new changes will then be rolled out globally on January 6, 2020.

Google made the announcement through a post penned by Scott Spencer, VP product management at Google Ads. In the post, he explained that the policy change was the result of popular debate around the role digital advertising plays in the democratic process.

Google Speaks about the Updates

Scott Spencer, the vice president of product management for Google Ads spoke about the updates. He talked about how proud they are to be used around the world to get relevant information about elections and that candidates use their search engine and search ads to raise small-dollar donations that help fund their campaigns. Spencer explained that because of recent concerns and debates about political advertising, and the importance of shared trust in the democratic process, they want to improve voters’ confidence in the political ads they may see on their ad platforms. This is why the made these updates.

The tech giants decision comes on the heels of Twitter announcing that it will stop running political ads entirely. Facebook has also announced new countermeasures to stamp out UK election interference.


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