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Understand Google's advertising policies, including ad approval status and account suspension
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Losing a large client due to pharma / NABP issues

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Little background - we took over a client campaign from another agency that was running a successful campaign. As soon as we imported and went live, our ads were disapproved (Same ad copy as other campaign) due to pharma/healthcare rules.  Again, same campaign, opened under new account pointing to the same website and we were disapproved.

 

So after weeks of going back and forth with Google and making our client suffer through the NABP process and expense (it's not cheap) just to get our ads approved, our client has decided to move back to their old agency which had NONE of these issues with the campaign.

 

We've also noticed many other campaigns running in the same space, same type of ads and content, and they are running just fine without NABP approval.

 

 

Has Google grandfathered in old campaigns under the new rules while any newly created accounts suffer?

 

This doesn't make any sense and very frustrating.  We are talking potential multi-million dollar account, gone.

 

 

Extremely frustrating.  Does anyone have any insight on why the older campaign could have been fine and all these other campaigns are currently running?

 

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Losing a large client due to pharma / NABP issues

Explorer ✭ ☆ ☆
# 2
Explorer ✭ ☆ ☆
Hi James,

Could you please share a little more information about what the client was selling/offering? i.e. were they an online pharmacy, or a doctor's office, etc.

Thank you.
Alex

Re: Losing a large client due to pharma / NABP issues

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Consultant type practice that helps people with weight loss, diet planning, etc. Not an online pharmacy or prescription drug provider, which makes it even more frustrating. But the site does mention hormone therapy and things like that which is where the NABP doesn't approve.

But I'm just not sure how all these other people are running ads just fine.

Do a search for hormone replacement therapy and there are tons of ads and I doubt any of them have paid for and gone thru the NABP process.

Re: Losing a large client due to pharma / NABP issues

Explorer ✭ ☆ ☆
# 4
Explorer ✭ ☆ ☆
Hmm... I'm not sure why that happened in your case - maybe someone else seeing this thread will have more specific details on the policy.

However, I've run pharma-related campaigns before, and have noticed that the policy isn't always applied consistently. For example, ads for one client are approved with no issue, while another has to go thru additional steps. Not sure why, it was such a difficulty in your situation, without seeing the correspondence, etc. (i.e. maybe the client changed some formulations after the original agency started the campaigns, so they were approved at first, and the changes in the landing page text / sales points were changed after, but when you started running ads from your account, it was all up for review again).

In the future, if you're dealing with a pharma client, my thought would be to gradually migrate the account. In other words, take a small territory (like a city or a state), and run a campaign just for that territory to make sure the client's performance isn't impacted during the transition (so you can get all approvals done).

Better yet, you may just want to take over the account altogether, and remove the other agency as a manager after that.

I know the above two suggestions don't really help with the current situation, but maybe they'll help avoid issues in the future.

Hope this helps.

Re: Losing a large client due to pharma / NABP issues

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Definitely not consistent. And then even after some content changes, we started a few new ads that ran fine. But then there was an issue with the SSL that caused the ads to be disapproved due to website being unavailable --- which took a week to resolve with Google support even though the site was only down for an hour or so.

But then when they reviewed the ads again, the ads which were approved were now disapproved again.

Real mess and the lack of consistency is what is really frustrating.

Re: Losing a large client due to pharma / NABP issues

Explorer ✭ ☆ ☆
# 6
Explorer ✭ ☆ ☆
It can certainly get frustrating at times. But I think the lack of consistency comes from staff that aren't 100% knowledgeable in all areas and end up approving things that shouldn't be approved. So that when a more experienced team member steps in, it can feel frustrating to be asked to get additional approvals etc, but all they're doing is correcting someone else's mistake.

Re: Losing a large client due to pharma / NABP issues

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Sad and scary that a junior team member could be costing us a multi-million dollar ad account.

Re: Losing a large client due to pharma / NABP issues

Explorer ✭ ☆ ☆
# 8
Explorer ✭ ☆ ☆
Hi James,

I don't think it's very fair to say that someone cost you the account, you misread my previous message.

It's completely up to you how to interpret this experience you've had losing this client account, and it's totally understandable you're frustrated. But I think if you consider what could have been done differently, it can be a great learning experience (such as transitioning the account instead of recreating it, giving yourself more of a time cushion, managing client expectations, etc).

Good luck.

Re: Losing a large client due to pharma / NABP issues

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

I hear you and yes, just beyond frustrated with the entire experience. And I very much appreciate your insight and understanding. Even just letting me vent helps at this point haha

I wish their was a better way of transitioning accounts but no agency I've ever worked with or for has ever let another agency simple take over an acccount. There's almost always an export process at best but usually you are working off maybe the last month's report which might show top keywords and top ads if you're lucky. So that really isn't an option.

And this account was more of the "slow start" by working with one remote office, then another, before slowly taking over the entire account. Client has also been very patient and even dove into the NABP process until even their restrictions were too much to handle as it would require some of the business model to change that has been successful for years.

And again, others are doing it and running ads just fine and not having to change their business model to gain NABP approval so they can run ads again.



Re: Losing a large client due to pharma / NABP issues

Top Contributor
# 10
Top Contributor

OK; interesting case...

@James C;

A few points to clarify;

Weight loss is a sensitive topic to promote but does not require the NABP certificate unless they sell online prescription drugs or link to an online pharma;

However; the site  content of the site  might be the issue and not  the NABP. (It's tough getting approval for weight loss programs due to  "optimistic" / unreal claims  on many of them.

The Policy is applied equally. It could be that the switch to a new agency triggered a review;

 

@Alexander S; You mentioned that you have  pharma clients. Carefully watch, prior to launching a pharma campaign, that  you fully comply with the Policy within the territory targeted.

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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