Google to stop election ads after polls close on November 3rd

Google to stop election ads after polls close on November 3rd
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Google will stop election ads after polls close on November 3rd, according to its letter to advertisers on Friday.

Based on the tech giant’s letter to advertisers, election-specific ads will be prohibited on all Google’s platforms after the voting day, and it may last a week or more.

The announcement comes as concerns about tech firms” preparedness for the elections emerge.

“Given the likelihood of delayed election results this year, when polls close on November 3, we will pause ads referencing the 2020 election, the candidates, or its outcome,” Google told CNBC. “This is a temporary measure, and we’ll notify advertisers when this policy is lifted.”

This new rule will apply to Google Ads, DV360, YouTube. and AdX Authorized Buyer, according to the copy of an email obtained by CNBC. According to the letter, Google expects “an unprecedented amount of votes will be counted after election day.”


According to CNBC, Google’s restrictions also apply to ads:

  • mentioning an incumbent state or federal officeholder or candidate;
  • referencing a political party or ballot measure;
  • mention federal or state elections;
  • appearing on election-related search queries.

“We will carefully examine a number of factors before deciding to lift this policy for advertisers and share updates as we have them,” the email said.

Moreover, Google expects a “substantial increase in election ad submissions” as the election comes near.

″That, combined with our robust enforcement review processes, will lead to longer ad approval turnaround times in the weeks before the election & through Election Day,” Google said in its letter. “You should expect up to 48 hours for approvals, and we will not be able to expedite requests during that time given the volume.”

“While this policy is in place, advertisers will not be able to run ads referencing candidates, the election, or its outcome, given that an unprecedented amount of votes will be counted after election day this year,” Google said.

Facebook’s election rules

Like Google, Facebook announced that it will not accept any new political ads in the seven days prior to the US election on November 3.

While it won’t accept new political ads during this period prior to the election, Facebook will still allow existing ads to continue to be promoted and targeted at different users. The decision was announced in a post by Facebook chief executive officer (CEO) Mark Zuckerberg.

According to Zuckerberg, he was “worried” about divisions in the country potentially leading to civil unrest. He also mentioned that the platform will also label posts from candidates attempting to declare victory prior to the final vote count.

Last year, the social media platform faced massive criticism due to its policy of not fact-checking political ads.

During Facebook’s third quarter earnings report, Zuckerberg argued “we need to be careful about adopting more and more rules” surrounding political speech.

Zuckerberg said: “In a democracy, I don’t think it’s right for private companies to censor politicians or the news.”

He then proceeded by saying that he will “continue” evaluating whether it is beneficial to allow political ads on Facebook, but that so far he concludes that allowing political advertising is the better choice.