As laws in the United States continue to undergo massive change, one in particular -- the overturning of Roe v. Wade, which transfers the right to abortion from federal to state governments -- may prompt people to move away from Google and Bing as they rethink privacy. Some believe the decision will have a major influence across the advertising industry.
“Everything that happens in this world, especially political, changes the ways marketers bid on keywords and advertising,” says Marty Weintraub, founder of the agency Aimclear. “If there’s wildfires, marketers bid differently on fire suppression. I think there will be medical tourism ads, and health destination ads to the more affluent.”
He said marketers might target these types of ads in wealthy neighborhoods in states that outlaw abortions. For example, in highly affluent neighborhoods in Dallas, consumers may see more destination marketing from places in California, New York or other states where it is legal to have an abortion.
He added that people who support the Right to Life will be more bullish, while those in favor of the Right to Choose will become more cynical. Marketers always factor in optimism and cynicism when making decisions on ad auctions and keyword bidding, he said.
“It’s unknown how this will shake out,” he said. “It will affect pharma brands, healthcare systems, and creatives. Today, you cannot market abortions in Google, but marketers can market to heath or medical tourism.”
Weintraub said the industry can expect “absolute polarization in political advertising” and in many legal channels.
“Scarcity is an important concept in advertising,” he said. “Wherever there’s money, people who have what people look for will find a way around sensitive category restrictions and channels.”
Google says abortion-related ads will not appear on the Google Display Network, even if they are eligible.
The company also does not allow ads related to birth control or fertility products in a wide range of countries.
The data from searches and clicks on ads by people looking online for information also could be used to implicate them in any wrongdoing, similar to the way homicide detectives use search history to connect them to a murder.
Search engines focused on privacy like DuckDuckGo, Startpage, and many others may soon see a boost in use by people reimagining their digital footprint.
Moving searches to engines focused on privacy could have an interesting effect on advertising dollars and the keywords that companies allow marketers to bid on in auctions. It also could influence the way people think about digital privacy.
“In states that not only outlaw but criminalize abortion — a move that Louisiana is considering adopting after a final decision from the Supreme Court — a pregnant woman’s digital search of abortion-inducing medication, online purchase of pregnancy tests, or email request for financial support to a pro-abortion resource group could be deployed against her in criminal proceedings,” Bennett Capers, a visiting criminal law professor at Yale University and full professor at Fordham’s law school, told Time magazine. “Once getting an abortion is illegal, then attempting to get an abortion is also illegal.”
The article published in May 2022 details how almost everything someone searches for on engines like Google and Bing could link them to illegal activities.
On Friday, four Democratic U.S. senators asked the Federal Trade Commission to "investigate Apple and Google for engaging in unfair and deceptive practices by enabling the collection and sale of hundreds of millions of mobile phone users' personal data."
The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade cited in the letter says women "seeking abortions and other reproductive healthcare will become particularly vulnerable to privacy harms, including through the collection and sharing of their location data."
Not sure what effect putting this on individual states (correct from a constitutional standpoint) will have on numbers of abortions, or "marketing" but I do know that since Roe was passed, 2,500,000,000 babies have been aborted around the world. More interesting topic to be is how the absence of that many human beings has effected marketing over the years...
The writer of this article is looking at some new perceptions people might have around marketing & visibility as a result of the US decision on Roe, which seems reasonable because at least some of the potential state laws that may result from it encourage governments and individuals to "go after" women who seek abortions. Since we've had abortions since the beginning of time, whether legal or not, I don't quite understand how what must be an estimated number of abortions in the world over the last 50 years affect what the US marketer might need to consider. Does this number include miscarriages and stillbirths? There are always a percentage of births that don't happen for one reason or another, sad as that might be. In the past many children didn't outlive childhood and some still don't today. Should marketers account for this?
Two and a half BILLION aborted babies in the past fifty years is not an estimate. It seems as though you'd like to draw false equivalency with REAL health care concerns like miscarriage, and disease that have also taken the lives of children, albeit it far more organically than abortion. As somebody that ventured into manufacturing software after thirty years in advertising sales, I can only say that two and a half fewer human beings on this planet due to abortions means less products needed to be manufactured, that's for sure. And, of course, we could extrapolate out how many more human beings would have resulted from procreation between those two and a half billion babies had they been ALLOWED to live, and others, but perhaps you are correct. Perhaps the billions of additional human beings wouldn't have mattered one whit from an advertising, or marketing standpoint.
Which is terribly sad...
And if today's current fertility rate is taken into account, those two and a half billion human beings that were not allowed to live would have produced another 2.2 billion human beings over that fifty year period (assuming that only half of the aborted two and a half billion babies were females). Feel free to minimize the absence of close to FIVE BILLION human beings due to abortion if you like. But to me, there are marketing and advertising implications galore in those man-created ghosts, and abhorrent numbers. Imagine, absent those deaths (yes abortion is the #1 KILLER on Planet Earth) there would be 13 billion people walking on earth as opposed to our current 8 billion. See any marketing implications there?
Kenny, I would be very interested in your source of the statement that "since Roe was passed, 2,500,000,000 babies have been aborted around the world."
The global annual birth rate has been declining since the '70s when it was around 31 births per '000. and is now down to around 17 births per '000, in a close to linear rate. The global population in 1973 was 3.9b. It is now about 7.95b.
Ergo, in 1973 there was around 120.9 m births. In 2022 there will be around 143m. births.
In essence the population growth has been tempered by the reduced birth rate. The average annual births over the period would be around 132m p.a., which across the 49 years since Roe would indicate around 6.45b births.
You state that over the same period there was 2.5b abortions. That means that for every 5 births there has been 2 abortions. I have not seen any corroborating data to support that.
Hello John. I don't recall the specific source. I do recall it claimed 50,000,000 induced abortions per year globally, however, which I multiplied by 50 years to come up with the two and a half billion babies aborted number. That said, I'm on the World Health Organization's website right now, and WHO's overview lays claim to "around 73 million induced abortions worldwide every year." Based upon that, my two and a half billion aborted babies since 1973 might be a low number. Furthermore, I'm currently on worldometers.info, and their running tally on worldwide abortions so far this year is 21,000,000 and we're not yet halfway through 2022. Conversely, the Worldometer tally of births so far this year is 70,000,000.
If that figure of 73 million " induced abortions each year"is accurate you are probably referring to a current number. It can't be projected into past years without accounting for population growth. So 73 million abortions this year might translate into only 30 million in 1975.
Thanks for your response Kenny, and thank you Ed as I was going to make the same comment. As Ed points out your 2.5b since Roe is probably on the high side.
Interestingly, you also noted that "their running tally on worldwide abortions so far this year is 21,000,000 and we're not yet halfway through 2022." Well here DownUnder we're halfway through as of tomorrow! But I suspect that the 21m is probably ony data to April. I can't find the data on WHO.
That's possible, Ed. Of course, the
two and a half billion babies aborted in the past fifty years assumed 50,000,000 per year globally. Not 73,000,000 per year which would bring the number aborted over THREE and a half billion. You might be surprised how many abortions were done in the 70's and 80's. 2.5 billion is realistic, as are the numbers of additional babies born had those 2.5 billion been allowed to live. We're approaching 8 billion human beings on this planet. That that number could be 50% higher absent all those abortions is astounding to me.
Go to WHO's website. Data is available on their Abortion Summary Page.