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Google suspends all ads sales in Russia

Google suspends all ads sales in Russia
Photo Credit: Pixabay
4 Mar, 2022

After limiting Russian state funded media from buying or selling Google ads last week, the Alphabet company has now said that it is suspending all ads sales on its platforms in Russia in response to the growing demand for censorship, Reuters reported. The suspension covers Google search, YouTube and Google’s publishing partners.

"In light of the extraordinary circumstances, we're pausing Google ads in Russia. The situation is evolving quickly, and we will continue to share updates when appropriate," Google said in a statement.

Suspension of ad sales in Russia means Russian businesses will not be able to use Google Ads platform to promote their products and services. Google Ads allows advertisers to display advertisements of their products and services in Google Search results, YouTube as well on websites of publishers who use AdSense to generate revenue. Google is currently the market leader in online advertising and as of 2021 controlled almost 38% of the global digital ad spending, according to eMarketer.

The Government of Ukraine and its allies including EU and Australia have been urging tech companies and tech industry bodies to ban Russian state media, Russian domain names and even users as they are using these online platforms to spread disinformation and hate speeches targeted at Ukraine. Ukraine’s digital transformation ministry has even asked Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to remove web domains associated with Russia ru”, “.рф”, “.su” and shut down primary domain name system (DNS) servers in the country. It has also asked Sony and Microsoft to ban Russian gamers from accessing Xbox and PlayStation.

Early this week, Google was also pulled up by the Russian communications regulator and asked to restrict ads that carried inaccurate information on casualties sustained by Russian forces and Ukrainian civilians.

On their part, tech companies have banned Russian state media from using their services. Last week, Facebook banned Russian state-owned media companies from running advertisements or monetising content on its platform. 

Early this week, Apple said it has stopped product sales in Russia. The iPhone maker had earlier restricted payments on Apple Pay from cards issued by Russian banks and banned apps of Russian state-owned media outlets RT News and Sputnik from the App Store. 

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