Google will now require all of its advertisers to verify their identities and countries of origin. The new rule expands a policy previously reserved for political ads, and it comes as web platforms attempt to contain scams and false information about the novel coronavirus pandemic. Users will start seeing disclosures with their advertisements this summer, starting with companies in the US and then expanding worldwide.
Before running an ad, buyers will need to provide personal identification and business incorporation documents or other documentation that proves their identity and country of origin. Users can then see the identity by clicking an “about the advertiser” option beside the promotion. “This change will make it easier for people to understand who the advertiser is behind the ads they see from Google and help them make more informed decisions when using our advertising controls. It will also help support the health of the digital advertising ecosystem by detecting bad actors and limiting their attempts to misrepresent themselves,” writes ad integrity head John Canfield in a blog post.