Google will start allowing political ads that mention the coronavirus, reversing a policy that’s been in place since January.
The comapny is beginning to allow advertisers who want to run ads related to COVID-19, prioritizing those advertisers that are working directly on this issue. This week, it will allow ads from government entities, hospitals, medical providers, and NGOs that want to get relevant information out to the public.
The company initially blocked all ads related to the virus under its policy of not letting marketers capitalize on major unexpected events like epidemics and natural disasters. As the virus spread, Google started allowing health authorities to buy ads for public service announcements. Soon, political advertisers will be able to jump in, to Google’s head of industry, elections, Mark Beatty.
“COVID-19 is becoming an important part of everyday conversation, including a relevant topic in political discourse,” Google said. “We’re planning to allow more advertisers to run ads related to COVID-19.”