I’m just a normal guy. I don’t have a huge advertising budget, so I have to be very careful when targeting my ads to keywords that would be of interest to my targeted demographic: freedom loving people who believe in the Right of self-defense.
In this case, the site I was promoting is called SittingDuckPolicy.com, a site that lists places that have policies that prevent law-abiding customers or employees from defending themselves. It also covers stories where regular people (just like you) have lawfully defended themselves against an attacker.
Nothing wrong with that, right?
Not according to Google. According to the email they sent me, the company wants to “keep people safe” and they don’t allow the “promotion of products that are designed to cause damage, harm or injury” even in “self-defense” — which my ad clearly was.
I just can’t fathom that.
- Does Google really not want your daughter to defend herself against a rapist with a taser because the rapist might get hurt?
- Does Google really want the murderer breaking into your house to have a “safe working environment” without worrying that you might be able to fight back and convince them to rethink their choice?
Look, I don’t want to hurt anyone, but let me be absolutely clear: I will use whatever force is appropriate and necessary (and whatever tools I have at my disposal) to prevent myself, my family, or my friends from being injured by a would-be criminal.
I’m sorry Google doesn’t seem to think that way.
Here’s the ad in question, in Google’s own words:
Campaign: ‘Are you a Sitting Duck?,’ Ad Group: ‘Are you a Sitting Duck?’
Keyword Status: Disapproved
Keyword(s): self defence taser, self defense tasers, tasers for self defense
Keyword Issue(s): Weapons – Keyword
SUGGESTIONS: We want to help keep people safe both online and offline, so we don’t allow the promotion of some products or services that cause damage, harm, or injury. For this reason, we don’t allow the promotion of products that are designed to injure an opponent in sport, self-defense, or combat. Some examples include throwing stars, brass knuckles, and crossbows.
See Google’s policy: https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/6014299?hl=en#325