Google stopped alcohol and drug treatment advertising from serving up in search engine queries in the U.S. last September, but on Monday the company said that it will begin accepting those advertisements from U.S. addiction treatment centers in July.
The practice was stopped to suspend advertising for deceptive and misleading ads.
Google told Reuters that treatment centers will have the option of running ads that have been vetted by Portland, Oregon firm LegitScript, a verification and monitoring service for online pharmacies.
A vetting process, however, for sober-living houses and non-U.S. treatment centers has not been set.
Evidently, the process will not be too cumbersome for legitimate centers. Marcia Lee Taylor, chief policy officer of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, told Reuters that while efforts to certify treatment services have failed in the past, tying access to “the world’s biggest online advertising system to certification makes applying worthwhile.”
In September 2017, Google said it would set guidelines for addiction treatment centers that want to run search advertisements after it began pulling ads and restricting the use of some keywords.
At that time, Tami McBrady, vice president of media at the digital agency Nina Hale, told Search Marketing Daily that the policies could serve as a framework for rehabilitation center advertising guidelines.