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A growing number of brands are hitting pause on their Facebook ads for the month of July as part of the Stop Hate for Profit boycott. 

The advertisers, including some of the biggest brands on earth like Coca-Cola, Pfizer, and Unilever, are part of a movement which argues that Facebook has been allowing hate speech, racism, and violence run rampant while the company has also “turned a blind eye toward voter suppression on the platform.”

Who Is Involved

Currently, more than 500 companies are taking part in the boycott. For the exhaustive list of brands, check out this spreadsheet which is being updated as more brands join in.

Here are many of the most recognizable brands involved in the boycott:

  • Acura
  • Adidas
  • Artlogic
  • Ben & Jerry’s
  • Best Buy
  • Birchbox
  • Boston University
  • Campbell Soup Co.
  • Chobani
  • CityAdvisor
  • CLIF BAR
  • Clorox
  • Coca-Cola
  • CVS
  • Dashlane
  • Denny’s
  • Dockers
  • Dunkin’ Donuts
  • Eddie Bauer
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Fossil
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Henkel
  • Herschel Supply Co.
  • Honda Motor Company
  • HP
  • J.M. Smucker Co.
  • Kay Jewelers
  • LEGO
  • Levi Strauss
  • Lululemon
  • Magnolia Pictures
  • Mars, Inc.
  • Merck
  • Merrell
  • Microsoft
  • Mike’s Hard Lemonade
  • Mozilla
  • OBEY
  • Patagonia
  • Patreon
  • Pepsi
  • Pfizer
  • Pop Sockets
  • PUMA
  • Reebok
  • Siemans
  • Six Flags
  • Starbucks
  • Target
  • The North Face
  • UnileverUSA
  • Vans
  • Verizon
  • Volkswagon
  • White Castle
  • Wingstop
  • Zoe’s Kitchen

Facebook’s Response

In response to the boycott and increasing pubic pressure, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg released a statement promising to make significant changes to how content is handled on the platform, such as:

  • Providing voting information and helping register people to vote
  • Preventing “new forms of potential voter suppression.”
  • Banning “any content that misleads people on when or how they can vote,” including removing “false claims about polling conditions in the 72 hours leading into election day.”
  • Preventing voter intimidation on the platform
  • Rejecting ads which include “claims that people from a specific race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, gender identity, or immigration status are a threat to the physical safety, health, or survival of others.”
  • Labeling content from public figures which would typically violate content policies. 
  • Removing content, regardless of the source, “if we determine that content may lead to violence or deprive people of their right to vote.”

In the statement, Zuckerberg emphasized that the company was attempting to balance “public health and racial justice while maintaining or democratic traditions around free expression and voting.”

So far, the public seems to feel this response is too little and vaguely worded. Since the release of the statement, at least two hundred companies have joined the boycott.

Google is launching a new way to promote your brand with smart campaigns in Google Maps called Promoted Pins – and they are free for advertisers through September. 

Until the end of September 2020, advertisers running smart campaigns who also have a GMB listing will not be charged for any clicks, calls, or sales generated from these pins. 

Promoted pins help showcase specific or unique services your business offers, like curbside service, delivery, or pickup. 

“Every month, over 1 billion people use Google Maps to see what’s around them, search for businesses, and find directions. Promoted pins on Google Maps help your business stand out during these moments by displaying a prominent, square-shaped Google Maps pin.”

The company says the decision to make the ad unit free came from wanting to help small businesses get back on their feet after the nation-wide lockdowns. 

Promoted pins have already started rolling out to smart campaign advertisers and should be fully available within the next few weeks.

Google released a few sneaky updates to their advertising policies which could have a dramatic impact on many advertisers in the near future.

Among the announcements are new regulations which allow the platform to pause ad accounts under investigation and significant revisions to its Misrepresentations policy.

Pausing Ad Accounts

While giving an update about plans to verify advertisers on the platform, Google included a statement suggesting they may pause accounts believed to be breaking rules.

As the statement says:

“We may temporarily pause accounts to conduct investigations if we identify potentially harmful advertiser behavior. Paused accounts cannot run any ads.”

While this is in line with Google’s past policies, the surprising addition is a note that the company will take the same action for ad accounts which do not complete the identity verification process after it rolls out.

Changes To The Misrepresentation Policy

Another big change to Google’s ad policies is an extension to what types of ads are blocked for “misrepresentation.”

Beginning in July, these policies will be amended to include a “Clickbait Ads” policy which intends to prevent ads from using sensationalized imagery or text which is purposely vague to drive engagement.

Specifically, Google says it will block ads including these types of clickbait text or imagery:

  • Claims of secret or scandal revelations
  • Language that implies the click will give context (i.e. “click here to find out” or other similar phrases)
  • Imagery featuring altered body parts, mugshots and disaster photos
  • Before and after imagery of the human body

Additionally, the company will block ads using negative life events to evoke emotion, such as:

  • Ads related to potentially traumatic events like accidents, illnesses, bankruptcy, arrests, and more.
  • Ads using imagery to provoke extreme emotions like fear or shock.

What This Means For You

The result of these announcements is relatively limited to a few specific industries – specifically those which provide support or solutions during major negative life events. Under the new rules, ads for bail bonds, diet pills, funeral services, and even law firms will be very tricky – if not outright impossible – to run.

Additionally, the announcement that Google will pause ad accounts which are not verified or are under investigation ups the stakes for failing play by Google’s rules.

Google has been teasing a massive revamp to the AdWords experience for months, and now it’s finally here.

The company says the redesign and new features provide a faster, more intuitive experience with a better focus on meeting advertisers’ goals.

What’s New

The biggest changes to the ad platform are mostly focused on design and speed.  The ad interface is less cluttered and easy to navigate, letting you put more focus on your advertising efforts without distraction.

The streamlined style also allows pages to load up to 20% faster according to Google.

Visualizations have also been improved to make it easier for you to see how your ads are performing and how people are engaging with your business.

The new experience also brings a few new features like bid adjustments and landing pages. These features have been available to those who got into the revised AdWords experience early, but this is the first chance for most advertisers to test them out for themselves.

Google has put together a number of new guides and videos to help everyone get accustomed to the new AdWords experience. You can get started by checking out the guided tour, how-to videos, or the best practices guide.

GoogleAdWords

This past July, Google began rolling out expanded text ads to advertisers everywhere. The intention is to eventually replace the standard text ads offered by Google with the new, longer versions. But, it looks like some advertisers are taking longer than expected to get adjusted to the new ad format.

When expanded text ads were released, Google said standard text ads would cease to be available starting October 26, but it is pushing back the deadline to early next year to allow advertisers to become more accustomed to expanded text ads. Now, Google says advertisers have until January 31, 2017, to make the switch.

After this date, brands advertising on Google’s network will no longer be able to create or edit standard text ads. Instead, they will be forced to use expanded text ads. While standard text ads won’t be available to advertisers, Google says it will continue to serve ads standard text ads that have already been made and published after the deadline.

Google has said the release of expanded text ads is intended to help advertisers improve their ad quality scores and improve clickthrough rates, but it is important to note that just making your ad longer doesn’t necessarily mean it will receive a better quality score. It does, however, allow advertisers more flexibility to put forth the best ads possible.

In order to raise your quality score on all ads – not just expanded text ads – Google offers a few suggestions:

  • Test multiple versions of your expanded text ads.
  • Focus your testing on headlines.
  • Replicate what works in standard text ads in your expanded text ads.
  • Consider shorter headlines on brand terms.
  • Leave your standard text ads running until the new versions are consistently outperforming them.
  • Review your pre-existing ads for previous success with longer headlines.
  • Don’t implement the same expanded text ad across many different ad groups.
  • Don’t blindly insert a new second headline without changing the rest of the ad.
  • Don’t write expanded text ads that lose their relevance to a user’s query.
  • Don’t leave out specific benefits or attributes of your product that had proven to be enticing in the past.

shopping-carts

Google is rolling out a new update to its Local Inventory Ads that let allows searchers to browse in-stock products when they search for a business. That means if a users searchers for your business, they could browse your inventory straight from Google.

So far, the new features are limited to a small number of retailers, such as Macy’s and Ikea. However, it is expected to continue spreading to businesses of all sizes in the coming months.

The update is not a surprise, as Google announced the expanded features utilizing their its Knowledge Graph and Google Maps back in May. However, it was first spotted this week by Nicolai Helling who captured a few screenshots of what it looks like out in the wild.

shopping-google-my-business-web-EN

With the new features, you’ll see a new line in the Knowledge Panel underneath your NAP (name, address, phone number) information which says: “Search items at this store”. You can also find this in Google Maps underneath the store’s hours.

If a user clicks on this, they’ll be taken to a page hosted by Google where you can refine exactly what item you are looking for. If they select a specific product, they will then be directed to a dedicated page product information as well as information about where to purchase the product online or in store.

To use the feature as it rolls out, you will need to be signed up for Google’s Local Inventory Ads program and be running ads with your products and inventory information.

google-display-network

This week, Google announced it would make a big change to ensure advertisers are only charged for display ads that are viewed.

During a keynote discussion at SMX East in New York, Brad Bender, vice president of product management of the Google Display Network said: “I’m pleased to announce that GDN is moving to 100% viewable. We’re going to migrate all of the CPMs in the system to viewable CPMs. All advertisers will be able to see viewable metrics so they can make better decisions.”

Bender told the audience the change will be rolled out to GDN users in the upcoming weeks. The change is likely to be received warmly by advertisers as there has been some concern over statistics (provided by Google) claiming 56 percent of online display ads never have the chance to be seen.

These ads are often not seen due to being low on the page or on a non-activated tab.

According to Marketing Land, Bender said Google has been working on the viewability issue and did not charge advertisers last year for over 70 billion impressions that went unseen.

For more on the change, read Google’s announcement on the Inside Adwords blog.

Online advertising could possibly become even more profitable over the next few years as it appears consumers’ trust in ads that show up in search engine results, online video, and social networks appears to be on the rise. A recent report from Nielsen, Truth in Advertising 2013 found that 48 percent of consumers trust these ads, up from previous years.

The report shows that consumers around the world are gradually becoming more accepting and trusting to online media, and advertising from trusted sources is equally seen as trustworthy. Ads on branded websites are now 69 percent trusted this year, making it the second most trusted format. In 2007 it received 9 percent trusted and ranked fourth-place.

The most favorable form of advertising stays the same, with 84 percent of global respondents saying word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family are the most trustworthy.

The survey also found that 42 percent trust online banner ads, compared to 26 percent in 2007, which may be why advertisers spent 26 more percent on this type of advertising in the first quarter of this year, according to ClickZ. Display ads on mobile devices has also gone up, with 45 percent saying they trust these ads more than text ads.

Nielsen Graph