A provider of abortion and contraception, MSI Australia, claims that Google has prohibited its advertising in search results due to an incorrect interpretation of Australian legislation.
As a result of Google’s extensive ban on linking to the MSI website in paid advertising, MSI Australia has been unable to advertise its services through paid Google ads since 3 December.
The ad restriction, according to Guardian Australia, may have resulted from Google mistaking a reference to medical abortions on the MSI Australia website for the promotion of abortion-inducing medications, despite the medications not being specifically mentioned on the website.
We have established standards that control abortion-related advertisements on Google’s platforms, a Google representative stated. As long as the advertiser is licenced, abortion-related commercials are permitted in Australia. Abortion-inducing medications, however, are not permitted to be advertised or promoted in accordance with regional legislative restrictions.
A check of the MSI website revealed language that may violate the regulations, which needs to be corrected before advertisements may resume, according to the spokeswoman.
We are collaborating closely with the advertiser to clarify a few small modifications so they can resume running advertisements that comply with policy as soon as possible after carefully analysing the in question advertising.
It wasn’t until this month that the advertising started to be blocked once more after a similar ad ban was lifted in 2019 following clinics’ reports of a decline in website traffic and bookings.
In order to avoid being affected by the prohibition on advertisements, MSI was compelled to totally revamp its website at the time.
The new restriction, according to Jamal Hakim, managing director of MSI Australia, is just another misapplication of Australian law.
“Google has once again enforced a total prohibition on abortion ads in Australia,” he said. “It’s like Groundhog Day.” “We are fed up with misinterpretations of advertising regulations that make it harder for individuals to find compassionate and honest information about abortion.
Despite being legal, abortion is not widely available in Australia. Access to abortions is hampered by Google’s prohibition.
According to the organisation, MSI Australia receives more than 160,000 calls a year, with 3 out of 4 of those calls being for information or help. It is imperative that the issue is rectified as soon as feasible.
In an effort to combat deceptive ads that divert women away from abortion facilities, Google started requiring certification of abortion providers in 2019.