Google Advertising Policies – Counterfeit Goods

Advertisers utilizing Google services such as Adwords and Google Shopping are often met with warnings, disapproval notifications or suspensions. Often, these systems generate an email with a message that SOMETHING is violating Google’s Advertising Policies.  However, rarely does it explain what is actually wrong.

Today, I’ll break down the policy concerning the advertising of counterfeit goods.

The policy simply states that “Google Adwords prohibits the sale or promotion of counterfeit goods.”  What is considered counterfeit, then?

It is a product that by nature is attempting to pass as as a genuine product, though it is not.  Common language may see those products called knock offs, fake, faux or clone. A counterfeiter will try to mimic trademarks or logo of real product brands.

Google is very clear on one aspect of this policy.  Unlike other portions of Advertising Policy, this policy pertains to both content of an ad and your website.  It is entirely possible that you may be disapproved or suspended from advertising if there are counterfeit products on your site, even if you are not actively advertising those products in Google.

Most of the violations of this policy will be experienced by advertisers participating in Google Shopping.

For exact policy, see Google’s Advertising Policies – Counterfeit Goods .

The above article is an interpretation of Google Advertising Policy as monitored and practiced (and therefore interpreted) by the marketing professionals at Vertical Rail.  This article does not in any way represent the beliefs or legal interpretation of policy by the Google entity or it’s employees.

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