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How some clear policy violations survive for years?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I was reading the threads about Ad policy violations for vaporizer ads.  The threads go back years. I used to advertise vapes myself on adwords until one day the site was suspended for advertising "pen vaporizers". I was told back then that pen vaporizers and portable vaporizers are considered by google as smoking devices for tobacco or drugs. They also told me that they would gradually remove all other vaporizer advertisers as the time passes. Well it has been more than a year and as you can see from other vaporizer threads, nothing has changed except a monopolization of adwords usage. That means that the policy team only deals with 3-8 vaporizer websites and still brings in all the revenue from the "vaporizer" searches while not having to take responsibility for them falling through the cracks. So i am doing an experiment. I submitted two of the websites on the "complaint form" with the text very well written after I had consulted multiple call center employees about google adwords policy team lingo and ideology regarding vaporizers. 

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 8.42.11 PM.png

 

So I would love for a community manager to get in on this and guide us so we better understand why there are conflicting messages. This creates an unfair competitive environment as some companies have a monopoly on ad traffic from a source that controls 98% of web search traffic. This is a problem for competition and I am sure it can be somehow tied back to violating the US antitrust law too, but nobody cares yet. 

 

I submitted following complaints:

landing page: http://www.vapeworld.com/pax-vaporizer-by-ploom

complaint text:

1- policy team does not permit the promotion of "portable vaporizers". the landing page (highlite section) clearly states that the pax is a portable vaporizer. This is not for aromatherapy, but for tobacco or drugs. 2- Q&A section states that "blow warm air on it to loosen up the residue that is stuck there". There is only one residue that loosens up when heat is applied. THC residue (oil, wax) from marijuana. This happens when one vaporizes marijuana, the vapor travels inside the unit and leaves a "residue".  3- review section on landing page states "odour is very slight and virtually unnoticeable". This is referring to the odor the unit emits when vaporizing as illustrated in point 2, marijuana and the website is promoting dangerous and illegal behavior while bypassing policies. This website would not survive a manual review. I will record this submission and post it on the adwords-community forum, as there are a lot of complaints but no one has submitted a proper ticket. Thank you.

 

I would love some feedback from the community manager if the text was done accurately with less opinion and more factual quotes from the landing page as i was told by the call center rep from google. I understand that google doesnt care much past the landing page, but note that google has disapproved bongs because of the and i quote the google rep "broader context" of use of bongs. We all know that bongs are sold as collectibles, but in reality they are bongs. Which get me to show off this link of the CEO of ploom at TED talking about tobacco vaporizers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJU99RyjDTs 

 

Tech.co writing about PAX as tobacco device. Wired writing about PAX as a tobacco vaporizer. Bloomberg writing about PAX as a tobacco device. I hope this is broader context enough. 

 

Please note that if you click from the footer of vapeworld's website wholesale and then on view catalogue, they even state in the wholesale catalogue that the pax "never burns your tobacco, resulting in delicious, satisfying vapor."

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 9.09.11 PM.png
I know google is a very responsible company and this is all just falling through the cracks, but i hope i am helping clean this up.
 
Based on Semrush.com, Vapeworld.com is spending on some days on up to 37,000 clicks worth of ads in the USA alone. According to my math that is USD300,000-USD450,000 per month that google brings in just from their US ads. Well i think this is enough to make some things questionable. Of course why would google waste time trying to policy review all the little vaporizer businesses if they can take all the "vaporizer" keyword revenue in from a few huge websites. In the end every time a US resident searches "vaporizer" the ad still comes up so google still makes money. This issue is solely to the detriment of the websites cut out by the policy team.
 
am sure some news outlets would love this analysis (all public data and available for verification), but i thought i let Google have it first since i genuinely believe that they are a good company and of course holes are huge with a multi billion dollar company. 
 
Anyway, i am super excited to get an email or comment back from the moderator that I did well and that maybe I get a new Nexus 6 as a gift or something. I loved the Nexus before i switched to iphone and switched right back. 
--------------------------------
 
Second complaint:
 
i accidentally deleted the text i submitted so i write it in similar terms with pictures:
Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 8.59.14 PM.png
"always having to duck away and hide the smell" refers to the odor the vaporizer generates. Marijuana has odor that needs to be concealed and advertising a website that promotes hiding a portable vaporizer is as google terms it dangerous products or services. This is not interpretation as aromatherapy with a humidifier would not require one to be portable or hiding. this is clearly for recreational drugs. 
 
Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 8.57.11 PM.png
 
the testimonial states that "you really can't tell the difference between this and my normal inhaler" this indicates that a concealment of the product is perceived as valuable.
 
 Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 9.06.15 PM.png
 
The testimonial on the landing page that must be endorsed by the company to be displayed on the homepage clearly makes reference to "stigma of smoking". Either the device he bought is for smoking or a smoking sensation/replacement device. In both cases no difference and the application of the policy rule is clear. This third testimonials violates a different policy. the tobacco products and related equipment
 
 
hope this helps guys. i submitted these two compaints today and will follow these ads in the coming 7 days and update what happened to them. Google generally attends to ad reviews in 1-3 days max!
 
1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: How some clear policy violations survive for years?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
I hope you receive some informative news. I along with other smaller vaporizer based websites cant wait to hear what google has to say. All the previous questions answered by moderators definitely don't cut it. Some of these companies are very obviously violating the rules...
Pax promotes their vaporizer everywhere as for tobacco use....smh....clearly getting away with it too!

Re: How some clear policy violations survive for years?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Yea and for the record I have complained through different accounts and
with similar "well structured" indicators before. I highly doubt that
google policy team considers revenue before they approve or disapprove
something. this just didnt get enough attention. So lets see if the
moderators can garner more internal attention or if this is one of those
things that fit under the category "selective ignorance".

Re: How some clear policy violations survive for years?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

 Here is another hilarious ad. 

 

So kandy pens have a rapper video on their landing page singing about smoking and the ad says that they have been voted up by High Times.....i am sure you all know hightimes.com and they are about. I still have not received any answer and all the advertisers above are still active. I lost a client over this, so i will be updating this page with more and more policy team inconsistencies until they decide either one or the other way. 

 

0BE755C22C5B49E709F35F483C1F0D357C55A5C23F6AA733E7pimgpsh_fullsize_distr.jpg

Re: How some clear policy violations survive for years?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Agree with this. It's such a monopoly. I am interested to see what a moderator might have to say. Essentially this is unfair to small business, as I suspect vapeworld.com generates a lot of revenue for Google.

Re: How some clear policy violations survive for years?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hello - I REALLY appreciate your tenacity on following up on this matter. I have a company that helps vape shops with online marketing and I have been working with search marketing for 17 years. I do not think that there is any sort of financial conspiracy here, there are industries that make MUCH more revenue that Google could favor, without calling attention to themselves. I think its important to remember that their first round of checking is done by a bot that scans your keywords, ads, account history etc. My site Vape.fm does not promote any products or sell anything, we are a marketing company, but any ad gets rejected because the word Vape is in the URL. It's very frustrating.

Asking Google for a review can come with mixed results, in some (many) cases, they will find another violation that you were probably not aware of, and suspend your account.

When an ad or keyword is submitted for an accept ion or review, it will go to an actual person, and then its up to them. I am sure that the companies that are getting ads through have done a lot of testing, tweaking, and had quite a few ads rejected. Your complaints may get them shut down, but I don't think a precedent will be set.

I have a friend who manages paid search campaigns for a company that creates a POS system, and he wanted to get vape shops in the mix, he found some interesting keyword combinations, that probably don't get much traffic, but as Google scans your gmail and search history to tailor ads, if you have emails with terms (common in the vaping industry), the ads may start to work their way into the view of the store owner.

Remember that Googles main goal is to generate revenue. So, if you don't have one now, get a Google rep. Talk to them, I learned quite a bit from mine, including how to get words through that were previously being rejected. I can't share that in public, but when I was working with the NFL (loads of trademarked terms), I was having a very hard time getting ads approved, my rep told me how to do it. It worked. Please keep in mind that I have had quite a few Google reps before and was only told this by one of them, so not sure if they liked me, or didn't like Google, or just didn't know better. I have not told anyone how to do this, but it's worked for the past 5 years. I would assume the companies that are getting through, know something similar.

I could be totally wrong, Google is a mystery. Keep at it, and hopefully within the next few years, at least for MJ, we will see regulations lighten a bit.

As long as Facebook is caving to political pressure and censoring ads, like Google, they are going to play ball, especially when the industry does not have massive backing or lobbyists. Keep in mind who is really spending the money on adwords, vaporizers are pocket change to the big G.

Re: How some clear policy violations survive for years?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Still waiting. We've been trying for over a year to get paid search campaigns up and running to no avail while VapeWorld continues unabated. I think a class action suit should be considered.

How some clear policy violations survive for years?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hello,

 

did you get any news about it guys?

 

I'm also an owner of a shop online with vaporizers eg PAX, MFLB etc and we also have problems with AdWords campaings in Poland. It used to work until February last year and then it stopped, hance we had to focus on alternative marketing forms. If you have the same problems, we should get on and exchange ideas how to get to customers (since we are on different market we are not a competition).

If anyone is interested, get in touch with me: lukasz.jerzy.cysewski [at] gmail.com

How some clear policy violations survive for years?

Top Contributor
# 9
Top Contributor

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