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Kristina Frunze

14 March 2018

Regulation Forex Cryptocurrency Announcements

Google will Ban ICO Ads and Cryptocurrency related content

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The recent announcement of Google's Advertising Policies team reveals that Google will ban ICO ads and Cryptocurrency related content in the near term. When can we expect this new Financial advertising policy to kick in? Crypto and ICO advertisers already face issues with Google Adwords? 

14 March, AtoZForex - At the start of this year, the regulatory pressure on cryptocurrency and ICOs markets increased. Causing the prices of the popular cryptos to plunge as much as 70% in some cases. Officials of governments, institutions, and regulators have been calling for regulations. Considering that the issued public warnings on these speculative instruments do not wield the desired effect.

In response to this, the law enforcement agencies and regulators in Canada decided to take it up with the internet giants Facebook and Google. In February this year, it was reported that the FBI and Canada's Binary Options Task Force explained to Facebook of the concerns with ICOs and cryptocurrency. This was a success, since Facebook issued not long after a ban on ICO and cryptocurrency ads. Did the law enforcement agencies employ the same tactics on Google?

Law enforcement agencies target Facebook and Google

Earlier this February, some of the online reports have claimed that the Canadian and other law enforcement agencies are waiting for Google to follow Facebook’s approach to handling the crypto and ICO ads. At that time, a senior investigator at the Manitoba Securities Commission and chairman of Canada’s Binary Options Task Force, Jason Roy, has stated:

"What happened is that Canada’s Binary Options Task Force as well as the FBI explained to Facebook what the concerns were and that these types of ads are leading to people becoming victims. We’ve been talking to Google and had similar discussions and are waiting for them to take similar action.”

It seems that the law enforcement agencies have convinced Google, as the Advertising Policies' team at Google announced that the ban is about to come into force in all jurisdictions as early as June 2018.

Google will Ban ICO Ads and Crypto related content

In its announcement, Google has clarified that the advertisement ban will be on Binary options, Cryptocurrencies and related content like initial coin offerings (ICOs), cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency trading advice and cryptocurrency wallets. However, it will not be limited to this list, since Google will keep on monitoring the markets for more "Cryptocurrency related content and ads".

Also, Google has revealed that the ban of cryptocurrency and ICOs will affect affiliates that are advertising these products. The announcement shows that Google will ban the following ads of affiliates and aggregators;

  • Contracts for Difference
  • Rolling spot forex
  • Financial spread betting
  • Binary options and synonymous products
  • Cryptocurrencies and related content.

Crypto and ICO advertisers using Google Adwords already face issues

Although, the Google announcement reveals that the new Financial Services Policies will commence in June 2018. There have been reports made to the digital marketing agency 7marketz, about the significant drop in ad views for advertisers using Google Adwords for Crypto and ICO related campaigns. We could see from these reports that some of the ads with crypto-based Adwords are at the moment marked as limited. Furthermore, there were online claims made of Google Adwords' accounts that are involved with crypto or ICOs, got suspended or terminated by Google.

According to Google's Director of Sustainable Ads, Scott Spencer pointed out that this is only the start. Scott Spencer wrote today in his blog that;

"We’re constantly updating our policies as we see new threats emerge. This year, we updated several policies to address ads in unregulated or speculative financial products like binary options, cryptocurrency, foreign exchange markets and contracts for difference (or CFDs)." 

Facebook Bans Crypto and ICOs ads

This January, Facebook has informed the public it has made a decision to ban all ads that aim to promote ICOs and cryptocurrencies. According to the Product Management Director of Facebook, Rob Leathern, the new Facebook policy bans ads that specifically promote the types of services and products “that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive practices.”

Some of the cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin, and ICOs have been involved in a number of scams. According to Mr. Leathern, Facebook wants the public to“to continue to discover and learn” about those products and services, “there are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith.”

Many of the Blockchain media insiders have backed the decision of Facebook since "this is good for the industry in the long run".

Yet, the focus of the Facebook’s policy includes anything with the word crypto in it. This implies that the blogs promoting educational content, consulting services, and the news about crypto will also fall under these limitations.

Think we missed something? Let us know in the comments section below.

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