Google has announced an extension of its mandatory identity verification program to all advertisers via a blog post on Thursday. The latest changes will now require all advertisers to verify their identity to prevent them from impersonating someone else and allow consumers to see who is running ads and which country they’re located in.
The advertisers will be required to submit documents pertaining to personal identification (like a W9 or IRS document showing the organization’s name, address, and employer identification number), as well as documents to prove they are located in the same country they claim to be in. Google already collects basic information from advertisers, but the latest measures have been introduced to curb fake ads from dubious advertisers.
“This change will make it easier for people to understand who the advertiser is behind the ads they see from Google and help them make more informed decisions when using our advertising Controls,” John Canfield, Google’s director of product management for ads integrity, said in the post.
“It will also help support the health of the digital advertising ecosystem by detecting bad actors and limiting their attempts to misrepresent themselves.”
Existing clients will also be required to complete the verification within 30 days, once they are notified. Consumers will be able to access this information provided by the advertiser by clicking on “Why this ad?” on the ad banner. Failure to comply with the verification will lead to a temporary suspension of advertisers.
Organizations will also require an individual to provide legal identification on their behalf. Individuals will be required to produce government-issued IDs for personnel verification.
Google had previously introduced the verification process for political advertisers back in 2018, to curb the misinformation bombardment during election campaigns. The extension of the verification to all advertisers will prevent price gouging as well as a curb on fake ads, particularly regarding fake vaccines for COVID-19 and other fake businesses.