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Understand Google's advertising policies, including ad approval status and account suspension
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Firearms Advertising

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

How is Walmart, Cabellas, Cheaper Than Dirt and much more still able to use the AdWords network even though they sell firearms, which you can find online, but our website cannot? 

 while searching "hunting supplies


Walmart: Guns for sale, ammo, knives, hunting accessories pretty much everything

http://www.walmart.com/search/?query=223%20rifles
http://www.walmart.com/browse/sports-outdoors/firearms-ammunition/4125_546956_1107532_1088608
http://www.walmart.com/browse/sports-outdoors/knives-tools/4125_546956_4155_1075084
http://www.walmar...


Cheaper Than Dirt (uses .net for adwords, when checking out switches to its .com which displays their firearms for sale. But the .net site from adwords still has tactical accessories, knives, and much more):
https://www.cheaperthandirt.com/login.aspx?returnurl=%2floggedin%2frevieworder.aspx
Bass Pro Shop Guns, ammo, knives:  
http://www.basspro.com/Knives-%26-Tools/_/S-12425008000
http://www.basspro.com/Guns/_/S-12400001000

Midway Sells ammo, black powder supplies, magazines, gun parts
http://www.midwayusa.com/category/ammunition

Cabelas Knives, ammo, gun parts. Actually lists their firearms under "SHOOTING" which sounds like a call to action:
http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/search.cmd?form_state=searchForm&N=0&fsch=true&Ntk=AllProducts&Ntt=am...

Academy Sports sells firearms
http://www.academy.com/shop/browse/shooting-firearms/_/N-822441185

 
When I asked how they got by I got this

"Our specialists have reviewed these sites and I was informed that the necessary actions are taken. 
 
We periodically review our policies to align with changing trends and various other legal developments. It may be possible that what we allowed to be advertised freely in the past is now restricted.
 
As for the other advertisers that you talk about, let me assure that our policies apply across all advertisers."

But they are still advertising on AdWords?? I cannot get an answer how their websites are OK but ours is not. I have removed anything / everything related to "Shop Firearms". Now I'm told that a CWP (Concealed Weapons Permit) webpage we have is also against the rules, I'm assuming for being a "Dangerous Service." I have been trying to abide by the policies for nearly 3 months now. I don't even want to be in a firearm result at all but apparently it doesn't matter if I'm breaking one of the rules it shuts down my entire AdWords, but not for large competitors. It wouldn't be as frustrating if "our policies apply across all advertisers" was true.
 
How?
Why?
2 Expert replyverified_user
1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Carol S
September 2015

Re: Firearms Advertising

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi,

 

While Google's policy folks obviously have the last say here - my guess is that none of the websites you mention make it easily accessible from their ads specific landing pages to find the information about firearms.

 

Your site on the other hand, appears to go above and beyond to put it in the forefront.

 

Just my quick opinion/observation - I think there is a difference between specifically advertising firearms, having them readily accessible on a landing page and trying to promote other products from your site, while firearms may still exist there - somewhere else.

 

I've never really dealt too much in this area but I can tell you from experience, the policies do indeed apply to all - more often than not, it's understanding the policies and how they are enforced that causes the most trouble for people. It's not as cut and dry as it may appear to you.

 

Again, I don't work for Google, nor am I part of the policy team, just making some best guesses here.

 

Good Luck!

 

-Tommy

Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’

View solution in original post

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Carol S
September 2015

Re: Firearms Advertising

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi,

 

While Google's policy folks obviously have the last say here - my guess is that none of the websites you mention make it easily accessible from their ads specific landing pages to find the information about firearms.

 

Your site on the other hand, appears to go above and beyond to put it in the forefront.

 

Just my quick opinion/observation - I think there is a difference between specifically advertising firearms, having them readily accessible on a landing page and trying to promote other products from your site, while firearms may still exist there - somewhere else.

 

I've never really dealt too much in this area but I can tell you from experience, the policies do indeed apply to all - more often than not, it's understanding the policies and how they are enforced that causes the most trouble for people. It's not as cut and dry as it may appear to you.

 

Again, I don't work for Google, nor am I part of the policy team, just making some best guesses here.

 

Good Luck!

 

-Tommy

Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’

Re: Firearms Advertising

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
This is the most logical answer, even though I feel being disingenuous about what products or services you offer is worse.

But Cabellas has "shooting"as a nav option in their top nav bar, same as ours. But with that I admit at being nit-picky and I really do appreciate your answer. Thank you for your input.

Re: Firearms Advertising

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Tommy phrased it neatly: "there is a difference between specifically advertising firearms, having them readily accessible on a landing page and trying to promote other products from your site, while firearms may still exist there - somewhere else".

 

Those are big retailer selling from socks to cars. If you were to show a specific  ad with a destination URL  directs the user to a page with weapons / rifles - you would be correct.

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’

Re: Firearms Advertising

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

UPDATE:

I'm now being told that all my pictures of firearms, even though it is just general information, must be removed.

Quote from the email:
"I've reached out to the specialists team and they responded that your site still contains images of "guns"

How can GTA V be on ads and on the carousel but my website cannot even show a picture of a gun?? I could label off numerous games that break this policy. The new Call of Duty features a guy on the front holding a gun.

Nearly every website with ads on "Hunting Supplies" has pictures of guns on the landing page. Even Sear's webpage has pictures of guns, knives and scopes (which is against their policy) on their adwords landing page.

I can find ads on Google Shopping that has pictures of guns but they're just selling the lasers, but that is OK?

THE FREAKING NRA IS IN GOOD STANDING WITH ADWORDS!! Their landing page has the phrase "Load up your guns and gear!" and features pictures of handguns and other accessories.

It's not even linking to a for sale page, it just says "Firearm Information" and has information. They have castrated our website firearm services page, which I disagree with but I've removed them as the requests have come and now more requests to remove other services, I don't get how I cannot even show a picture of a firearm. It seems like every time I fix one thing they ask me to fix 2 more things, then 2 more things, then another, then another. This has been going on for 3 months. I always only get 1 thing to fix in the emails, and then I resubmit and then I have to fix something else.

Re: Firearms Advertising

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor
Please share the exact URLs you are promoting in your destination URL
Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’

Re: Firearms Advertising

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Sure. This is the landing page [ http://deckersjewelryandpawn.com ] now. It used to be http://deckersjewelryandpawn.com/firearms/ but I have since 301'd that to our information page and this was the first thing I fixed on request. He's not saying anything is wrong with the info page just the stuff on the home page (same as landing). I know once I fix the requested issues I will have to fix any issues on the information page because I've already had to change other pages after fixing other issues.

http://deckersjewelryandpawn.com

These are the photos he sent me along with the below text
http://imgur.com/1jQOkOz,584NPoz
http://imgur.com/1jQOkOz,584NPoz#1
 (Imgur was displaying funny for me so I added to make sure you see the other photo.)

"Thank you for your response and efforts.

I've reached out to the specialists team and they responded that your site still contains images of "guns" and promoting "gun repair" and "Pawning gun repair". As per our weapon policy even this is not allowed. I have attached the screenshots for your reference. "

==============================

I understand their policy of "Dangerous Services" I am working to remove those. Of course it would have been nice to know 3 months ago when this started. You can check the AdWords on "gun smithing" "gun repair" and much more and find ads for the service or schools that teach this "dangerous service" but again I understand this is against their policy no matter what I consider a dangerous service. Which, in my opinion, they should update, because the way their policy lists it, it appears to be policies against "How to make meth" and such.

Re: Firearms Advertising

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor
This page is linked to the landing page; my view - this is a violation
http://deckersjewelryandpawn.com/firearms-2/
Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’

Re: Firearms Advertising

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

OK. That's fine. I get that. But I'm being told I cannot have images of guns. Like I said, I'm sure I will have to work on that page. I wish they'd let me know everything before I submit but I can understand webpages can be large and I am asking a lot. I am currently thinking about how to change that page to be compliant.

My issue is being told I cannot have an image of a gun.
" that your site still contains images of "guns"

And going back to creating subterfuge to list firearms or services "there is a difference between specifically advertising firearms, having them readily accessible on a landing page". I have tried making a landing page that only links to our home page but that doesn't work for us. Making it take 2-3 clicks to get to a policy violation. I agree with the policy violations being in place but it's like their policy for me is way more enforced than a Walmart / Cabelas, which again, has "SHOOTING" in their nav bar that links to their firearms for sale. The consistency seems to be lacking. And being told I cannot even show a picture of a gun is really irritating me.

Re: Firearms Advertising

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

And I have submitted a site too, that was a replica of the home page minus EVERYTHING related to firearms but that got denied. So obfuscation doesn't work for us. I am thinking about submitting this site

http://deckersjewelryandpawn.com/happy/