Internet behemoth Google is providing the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with additional advertisement credit to help the UK regulator spread awareness on the risks of online scams.
In a letter to Treasury Committee chair Mel Stride, Google’s director of trust and safety Amanda Storey said that the company has already given the FCA $3m (£2.1m, €2.5m) in ads credit in the last 18 months.
She added that, “to help amplify their message to protect consumers from scams”, the tech firm has pledged a further $2m in advert credit to the UK watchdog, as well as donated some to the Advertising Standards Authority.
Storey said in the letter: “We believe that the ad credits we have offered to the FCA and others will play a significant role in amplifying these important messages and educating consumers on how to stay safe online.
“However, we know that advertising alone won’t be sufficient to tackle this problem, which is why we are investing in developing new policies and measures to prevent scammers using our services.”
Billions of suspicious ads taken down
International Adviser reported over the summer of 2021 that Google tightened its advertising policies, especially for financial products in the UK.
The updated rules now require people and companies to prove that they are authorised by the FCA before being allowed to promote their products on the firm’s platform.
Storey, however, acknowledged that allowing only FCA-authorised firms to advertise on the platform could impact companies that operate outside of the regulator’s remit.
“While we are aware of the impact this may have on legitimate British businesses, our number one commitment in tackling this issue has been creating a safer experience for our users.”
She added: “To ensure a safe and positive experience for users, Google requires that advertisers comply with all applicable laws and regulations in addition to the Google Ads policies. Ads that violate these policies can be blocked on the Google Ads platform and associate networks, including ads on YouTube.
“YouTube also prohibits scams, such as exaggerated promises to get rich quickly, pyramid schemes, and cash gifting schemes.”
Additionally, Storey revealed that, in 2020 alone, Google took down 3.1 billion ads around the world, 123 million of which violated its financial services policies.