Updated on 5-29-19.
Google Ads is cracking down again on dermatologists, plastic surgeons and other doctors that mention name brand drugs that they supply in office for treatments. Ads are market limited with a policy violation when brand names are listed or ads are flagged with one or multiple violations.
The Google required pharmacy registration, to show terms like BOTOX, is relatively costly and does not really apply to this market. These physicians are not selling these medications online, nor are they filling prescriptions. They just want to advertise that they are doing BOTOX injections or using other facial injectables on their website for in-office services.
Google is not not only searching terms on the landing pages, but now the entire website. So, removing the offending drug names from the landing page simply does not solve the ad issue.
From Google sponsored help forums I am seeing posts like this:
In the past we were able to contact someone at Google, show them it’s a hospital and that we weren’t advertising for any drug and the problem was gone. Now as of around Jan 20, this no longer seems possible so if something has changed (and let’s face it, Google is not 100% transparent about anything), then I would like to know what it is.
Well, these days this is the sole aim/goal the Policy enforcement team is focused on. You should also recognize that the policy is dynamic and changes continuously. We have no influence on the Policy team. I can only say – based on my wide experience with Policy issues – that Google is very strict with health-care issues (regulator scrutinize, Google was heavily fined in the past by regulators…). No waivers are granted.
So for medical professionals this new update from Google means absolutely no mention of name brand drugs on the entire website. They may not even be eligible for the medical/pharmacy registration that Google links to in their help notice pages for site and policy violations.
I called Google Partner support and got this clarification from staff on this issue this past week. For now, Google is showing ads but only in countries where there is not a policy issue and when they do show ads they are only showing to users 18 years and older.
Google staff recommended the full removal of all drug names from the entire website in order for the ads to no longer be flagged. They agreed that the $1,400 yearly fee and $495 application fee to get a pharmacy approval from one of Google’s two recommended vendor simply did not apply to these doctors, but that there was no work around.
Remember when you show ads on Google.com you have to play the way Google says and this new change means – know your ads will be flagged, your ad serving will be limited to adults only, and that the policy may change in the future.
If you need help with Google Ads, contact us today for a review and estimate of services.