Google will temporarily prohibit all advertisers from running ads on its platforms that relate to the US election following Election Day, the company told advertisers in an email Friday.
“This policy will be broadly scoped across ads running through Google Ads, DV360, YouTube, and AdX Authorized Buyer and is intended to block all ads related to the election,” the email said, which CNN Business has reviewed.
The restriction could last a week or more, according to a Google spokesperson, and comes amid mounting concerns about tech companies’ preparedness for a chaotic election.
It will apply to ads not just about the presidential election but also state and local races. The email was first reported by Axios.
The decision marks a divergence from Facebook. Facebook has announced some limitations for political advertising in the week before Election Day and a ban on political advertisements that attempt to declare victory before official results are available, but has not otherwise articulated a plan for advertisers in the messy aftermath of Election Night.
Google’s ban on election ads will come in the form of its “sensitive event” policy, which the company has previously deployed for unpredictable or chaotic events, such as natural disasters and the coronavirus pandemic.
Google will activate the policy once polls close, the company said in the advertiser email.
“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 wrote.
The ban will cover all non-political advertisers, as well as those who have undergone the company’s political verification process, such as candidates and campaigns themselves.
“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 spokesperson Charlotte Smith said in a statement. “This is a temporary measure, and we’ll notify advertisers when this policy is lifted.”