Google to prohibit demographic, zip code targeting for housing, employment, credit ads

Google is updating its advertising policies around housing, employment and credit opportunities, the company announced Thursday.

New policy. Employment, housing and credit advertisers will no longer be permitted to target or exclude their ads being from being shown based on demographics — gender, age, parental status, marital status — or zip code.

This adds on to existing policies that prohibit targeting based on race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, national origin or disability.

Timing. The new policy will roll out in the U.S. and Canada “as soon as possible” and by the end of the year at the latest.

Affected advertisers will be notified about the potential impact on their campaigns in the coming weeks.

Why we care. This change comes with a backdrop of a coronavirus-induced recession that is disproportionately affecting minority communities and mounting calls for action to address systemic racism by the Black Lives Matter movement. Google says it has “been working with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on these changes for some time.”

Facebook updated its ad policies to prohibit age, gender and zip code targeting for housing, employment and credit ads more than a year ago in March 2019.

This story first appeared on Search Engine Land.

About The Author

Ginny Marvin is Third Door Media’s Editor-in-Chief, running the day to day editorial operations across all publications and overseeing paid media coverage. Ginny Marvin writes about paid digital advertising and analytics news and trends for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Ginny has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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