Google has restricted paid advertising through their Adwords platform for advertisements related to many drug and alcohol rehabilitation services. Details have still not been officially released by Google; however, certain keywords and keyword combinations are now restricted from triggering ads on Search and YouTube Search.
A Google representative confirmed to Advanced Recovery Systems that a decision was made to restrict ads targeting people using specific rehab related queries. According to the Google support representative “The growing opioid crisis in the US has uncovered the complexity of the rehab services industry and the high risk of user harm by questionable players who are profiting from rehab services promoted via AdWords. In the interest of user protection, we have decided to take immediate measures while we further research the industry. As a first step, we’ll be restricting ads traffic for certain rehab-related user queries (starting with Search and YouTube Search). We are however looking into more robust, nuanced, and scalable means to ensure user protection while allowing good service providers to promote their business.”
George Fischer, Marketing Director for Advanced Recovery Systems, is responsible for Advanced Recovery Systems’ network of websites including The Recovery Village. “We fully support the actions of Google to protect consumers from unscrupulous companies looking to take advantage of this highly vulnerable population. It is time consumers are provided with transparent and truthful information to appropriately identify high-quality addiction treatment providers. We are hopeful this signals the end of deceptive marketing in our industry.”