Google is taking a hard stance about pornographic advertisers, even if the content of their ads is innocuous. (Flickr/Kristina Alexanderson [edited])

In May, Morality In Media had a productive meeting with Google about how they can help protect individuals, families and children from exploitation.

Today, we are seeing the fruits of that meeting.

We listed Google on both our 2013 and 2014 Dirty Dozen List because of their involvement in and profit from pornography in Google Play, Google Ads, YouTube and more.

Google sent an email out alerting their advertisers—particularly pornography and other adult themed websites—that they will be implementing their new advertising policy which eliminates pornographic and sexually explicit ads. In addition, it seems Google will also no longer link to sites that contain such materials, no matter how benign their advertising.

In our meeting with them, we specifically asked for these two updates to their policy and Google has complied!

Here is the email that was sent to advertisers:

Dear AdWords Advertiser,

We're writing to remind you about a change to Google's advertising policies we announced in our Policy Change Log that may affect your AdWords account:

Beginning in the coming weeks, we'll no longer accept ads that promote graphic depictions of sexual acts including, but not limited to, hardcore pornography; graphic sexual acts including sex acts such as masturbation; genital, anal, and oral sexual activity.

When we make this change, Google will disapprove all ads and sites that are identified as being in violation of our revised policy. Our system identified your account as potentially affected by this policy change. We ask that you make any necessary changes to your ads and sites to comply so that your campaigns can continue to run.


The Google AdWords Team

We are celebrating a huge victory! Please take a minute to take it all in with us.

Please take another minute to thank Google for their improved policy and for doing more to uphold decency. You can sign the petition to let them know how appreciated their efforts are at our Action Center.

Thank Google here.

Keep fighting.

Dawn Hawkins is the executive director of Morality In Media.

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