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Understand Google's advertising policies, including ad approval status and account suspension
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Judgement calls adwords policies

[ Edited ]
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# 1
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Hello adwords community,

 

Some of the products we sell in our webshop are on the fringe with the weapons policy. After very lenghty chats with helpdesk employees we managed to get the broad strokes of the implications of the policy clarified. Who would've thought thumb studs would be considered assisted opening?

 

But there are also somewhat niche product groups, e.g. broadaxes. Which is a model of axes used for carpenting applications, but if you check wikipedia or dictionaries you might find reference to battle axes, which we can only pressume is covered under the umbrella of "throwing axes". The helpdesk employee i asked if broadaxes are banned aswell can't really tell me nor will they ask the policy team. They turn the question around, "do you consider it a weapon".

 

Effectively the policy as i experience it is "when in doubt, don't". While i don't intentionaly want to violate the adwords policies, niche products are steady performers, so i'd really like to advertise on it. But i can't get a straight answer and my questions are being deflected.

 

How can i get a straight answer from Google regarding their policies?

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Accepted by topic author Jelle W
September 2015

Re: Judgement calls adwords policies

Top Contributor
# 9
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Jelle;

Google replied that machete is classified as a tool to chop wood and coconuts ( Smiley Surprised ) - hence is not considered as a harmful tool, and should be approved...

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Judgement calls adwords policies

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# 2
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"Any other product that's designed to injure an opponent in sport, self-defense, or combat
Examples: Throwing stars, brass knuckles, crossbows" - are not allowed.!


Could you link to the description of the item you are offering?

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Judgement calls adwords policies

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# 3
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A broad axe is not designed to injure people, it's designed for carpenting. Similarly a machete is not designed to injure people, it's designed for agricultural purposes. But a machete is considered a dangerous knife. A fixed blade knife with a matte black blade seems to be synonym to a tactical knife, whether it's designed for it or not. But then again a very large knife modeled after a bowie knife with a high glossy execution to it is not a dangerous knife. Folding oyster knives, whether assisted opening or not, are neither a problem from what i gather.

It's not in the policy. The policy team makes judgement calls on the "designed to" aspect, but there is no way of getting a preemptive response if they consider a product group to be "designed to" and there is no list of features as far as I'm told which are indicative.

I'm giving examples of extremes merely to clarify the point that the policy is not clear. You can imagine that there are a multitude of products and variations between the extremes. I try to narrow down the groups as best i can, but there are product groups which are just very niche and of which a lack of competition is not necessarily an indication of it being banned, products which don't allow much for an educated guess on my part.

Re: Judgement calls adwords policies

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hello again Jelle;

Quote:

>>"Similarly a machete is not designed to injure people, it's designed for agricultural purposes.

 

In my engineering profession, I  have a broad and extensive engineering background of project management  in the construction and chemical  industries. (And as a part of that, closely working with architects)


Could you explain to me what is the "architectural purpose" of a machete?

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Judgement calls adwords policies

[ Edited ]
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# 5
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The weight distribution of a machete blade makes it very adequate for chopping. People use them to chop branches among other things. It's agricultural purpose is any sort of plant harvesting which requires these features. Various fruit bearing trees have tough 'fleshy' flexible stalks. This is where a machete is exceeding usefull.

As an example, you want to harvest agave leaves, pineapples, banana stalks or maybe you want to crack open a coconut. But also plant maintenance, dead leaves invite fungi and critters you don't want to be crawling among your plants, machetes are used to chop these leaves/branches off.

It's designed for chopping, and i can tell you it's far more commonly used to chop various plants/fruits than to chop heads or limbs.

Not that i want to argue on the specific case of machetes. The press isn't favorable on machetes and i accept that. But I'd like to know for broad axes.... I'm not sure where you want to go with this line of inquiry, but i don't see how this is moving towards getting an answer how i can get judgement calls on product categories which are in the vague grey area the policy leaves.

Re: Judgement calls adwords policies

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 6
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">>>  i can tell you it's far more commonly used to chop various plants/fruits than to chop heads or limbs."

Smiley LOL

 

Before escalating the case to a senior Policy specialist for  re-checking a case already been checked (more than once), I need to verify that we are really in the "gray zone".


I see your point. I will ask Google to recheck the case for those "dual purpose items".

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Judgement calls adwords policies

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# 7
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But what would the result be of just asking to recheck?

Do i need to start an argument with you regarding specific productgroups to get an answer. I understand atleast the helpdesk is used to answer generic questions and as a firewall to keep advertisers from overloading the policy team with questions. I can appreciate that, it makes sense.

I do however wonder sometimes whether helpdesk employees are knowledgeable enough regarding these items to make the right judgement whether it warrants to ask the policy team or not. Are there specialists among the generalists?

Re: Judgement calls adwords policies

Top Contributor
# 8
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Jelle;
The case (including all of your arguments about "dual, legitimate purpose") was submitted to a senior Policy specialist - not to a helpdesk Rep
Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Jelle W
September 2015

Re: Judgement calls adwords policies

Top Contributor
# 9
Top Contributor

Jelle;

Google replied that machete is classified as a tool to chop wood and coconuts ( Smiley Surprised ) - hence is not considered as a harmful tool, and should be approved...

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’