24th September 2021
Google announced this week that it will give users more information about who is running ads online by showing users all the ads from a company or brand in its dedicated ‘about this advertiser’ page.
Google will now let users check an advertisers campaign history with a new feature on the ‘about this ad’ menu for a company or advertiser. The ‘about this advertiser’ page gives basic information about advertisers including the name of the company, the country/location and any other ads they’ve run in the past 30 days. The information provided will span both Search and YouTube ads.
In the past year, in order to increase transparency for users, Google Ads has introduced its ‘about this ad’ information feature as well as the advertiser identity verification program, which requires all advertisers to complete a verification process in order to buy ads on its network. This latest feature increases transparency further for users as previously there was an advertiser database that was only focused on political ads, whereas this new feature includes commercial advertisers.
Google has started verifying advertisers in 90 countries, but the new disclosure feature is initially launching in the US and will be expanding to more countries in 2022.
Facebook already has a similar tool - Facebook Ad Library - where users can see all the ads running across both Facebook and Instagram at any moment.
Google said in its announcement: “imagine you’re seeing an ad for a coat you’re interested in, but you don’t recognize the brand, with advertiser pages, you can learn more about that advertiser before visiting their site or making a purchase.” This makes it much easier to identify false information and any scams.
There is an increased demand for more privacy controls and transparency across global digital platforms as consumers continue to demand more from brands – more transparency and more authenticity. This is driven in part by a growing awareness from consumers about how they are tracked and their data is used, but also by increasing legislation like GDPR or CCPA.
Some players, like Apple, are increasing their privacy controls for the user, which is sending a ripple effect out into the industry – just this week Facebook has been warning advertisers that Apple’s privacy changes could skew conversions by roughly 15% and has said that marketers could assume that their ads are leading to higher conversation rates - whereas others like Google are making an attempt to be more transparent through providing more clear information about the advertising that is being targeted to a user. Whatever the route, the user now has more power in the ecosystem and this will only increase over time.