AdWords
3K members online now
3K members online now
Understand Google's advertising policies, including ad approval status and account suspension
Guide Me
star_border
Reply

Pharma Campaigns

Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭

Has anyone been having a hard time getting their pharma campaigns running? 

 

My company advertises for lawyers and for a couple of months we have been ruuning a campaign targeting Pradaxa injuries. The campaign was performing very well and we were getting a lot of cases for our clients. Then a couple of weeks ago I went in to update my google Id #'s. I had to wait 2 weeks for my ad to be reviewed and once it was reviewed it was disapproved. None of the ad text was changed just the Google ID #. So I reached out to our Google rep who did not respond to me for about a week and once they did they informed me that we could no longer use Pradaxa in our ad text! I was informed that I could still bid on the keywords Pradxa but once I updated everything it all went back into review!

 

Our campaign has been down down for about 4 weeks because of this nonsense! Does anyone know what is going on? I cannot seem to get an answer from our rep!

 

2 Expert replyverified_user
3 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

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

Re: Pharma Campaigns/ Landing page and trade-name Policy

Google Employee
# 5
Google Employee

Hi LawyerCentral (and Moshe),

 

I can give a more definitive answer to this one, because I work on this part of AdWords.

 

First, I'm sorry for the long turn-around times on reviews of ads that we think might be pharma-related.  We're trying to hire more people to review 'sensitive' ads, but it's taking longer than I'd hoped to hire them and then we have to train them quite a bit before they can do the work.

 

> Pradaxa is a registered trade-name.

> You cannot use it in your ad-text without getting authorization from the trade-name owner. 

 

This is not true in the US, Canada, UK, and maybe a few other countries.  In those countries you're allowed to use another company's trademark as long as you're selling the trademarked product or providing legitimate consumer information on it.  (I don't think this is the case in Israel, though, which is probably why Moshe didn't know about this exception.   I'm sure I have this subtly wrong and it's different in lawyer-speak; see this page for the gory details.

 

> Moreover; Google does not allow to advertise medicines.

> Only pharmaceutical manufacturers can advertise informational sites on pharmaceutical drugs. 

 

This is also not entirely true.  In most countries we have an exception for "Informational" sites.  When we developed the enforcement mechanism, lawyers fishing for drug lawsuits were definitely one of the use cases we had in mind, and I'm fairly sure we still allow those ads.  Again, the rules on this vary a lot from country to country, and I know the most about how this works in the US.  (Both because I live here and because I was heavily involved in the US rollout of the pharma enforcement system.)  

 

What's going on here is that your ads are getting marked as "Prescription drug Info" since they're about prescription drugs but are not selling them.  (There's another "Prescription drug sale" label that doesn't apply here.)  Since your account doesn't have an associated "certificate" allowing you to run those ads, they get disapproved automatically.  We thought that would be better than approving them and just never showing them; this way at least you know something is wrong.

 

To fix this, you need to contact our policy team and ask for a "Pharma Informational" certificate on your account.   There's a link to a form for this on the help center, but it doesn't work for me.  See if it works for you: go to this page and click on "How can I apply to advertise online pharmacies?"  (Yes, the link is poorly named.  Sigh.)

 

If that doesn't work for you, call support and ask them how to contact the "Policy team" to get the "Pharma Info" certificate.  If they push back, tell them that an AdWords engineer named Laura said you needed to do this, and tell them to look me up in the internal directory if they don't believe you.  And if that doesn't work, see if one of the TCs like Moshe will forward your account info along to me so I can go pester the right people.

 

Once you get the certificate on your account, you'll either need to re-submit your ads (and wait for a review) or ask the support or policy teams to re-review the ads immediately.  I suggest the latter, given how slow reviews are right now.

 

One other note...  Since you have a form on your site that collects personal information (name, email, phone, ...) you need to have a link to a clear privacy policy that specifies what you do with that information, and who you will and won't share it with.  I didn't see one at first glance.  Without one you risk getting your site suspended for "information harvesting".  (There's enough legitimate content on your site that I'm guessing you're safe from this, but I can't say that for sure.)

 

Laura

AdWords review engineer

View solution in original post

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by MosheTLV (Top Contributor)
September 2015

Re: Pharma Campaigns/ Landing page and trade-name Policy

Google Employee
# 16
Google Employee

In the name of transparency, here's another internal update on this....

 

There was some disagreement about whether we allow lawyers fishing for drug lawsuits to actively bad-mouth the drug on their site, e.g. "Pradaxa kills people and we'll sue the **bleep** for you!" vs. "If you've been injured by Pradaxa, ...".  I think that's part of why it took so long to approve your ads.

 

I'm working on getting our internal documentation for reviewers updated to make it clear that we have no rules about the language you use on the site (modulo our other site policies, court orders for slander/libel/defamation, etc.).  And I've also asked the writers to add the drug lawsuit case to the external Policy Center page so this stuff is more clear in the future.

 

Laura

View solution in original post

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by Zee (Community Manager)
September 2015

Re: Pharma Campaigns/Words considered adult

Google Employee
# 29
Google Employee

Hi Susan,

 

Thanks for the concrete suggestion.  I've forwarded them along to the policy team and the writers working on the policy pages, with some commentary basically saying I agree with you.  Hopefully something will happen.

 

I'm starting to think we need a specially subset of customer service reps who have extra training in policy- and approval-related issues.The regular reps apparently don't get much training on it, and they have so many other things they need to know about that even if they had training they might not remember it.  (Similar to the way I know a lot about policy issues but next to nothing about the AdWords UI.)

 

I'll try to pass that idea long too, though I don't know anyone in the support organization like I do in policy.  Since support is so much bigger there's probably more inertia there.

 

Laura

View solution in original post

Re: Pharma Campaigns

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hello LawyerCentral; Welcome to Adwords support community;

 

Can you share with us your URL,?  (so we could see if it's an issue of using a trade name,  or also a landing page violation)

 

-Moshe

 

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: Pharma Campaigns

Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭

Sure! We were using http://www.pradaxa-injury-lawyers.com/ but Google said that it did not have a pharma certificate so we pointed it to an internal page http://www.forthepeople.com/pradaxa-bleeding-lawsuits--11-4104.html

Re: Pharma Campaigns/ Landing page and trade-name Policy

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hello again LawyerCentral;


This is a very interesting and challenging case of AdWords Policy you are raising.


There are many aspects that can be considered: advertising lawsuits/ class actions/ Trade- name advertising and advertising pharmaceutical drugs.


I will touch only two:

  1. Pradaxa is a registered trade-name. You cannot use it in your ad-text without getting authorization from the trade-name owner. (Authorization that eventually you are unlikely to get,). You can use the trade-name as a keyword to trigger your ad. But, as said, not as part of the ad-text.- This type of violation is related to the ad-text policy
  2. Moreover; Google does not allow to advertise medicines. Only pharmaceutical manufacturers can advertise informational sites on pharmaceutical drugs. It is quite clear that you are NOT promoting the drug. On the contrary, you are providing a legal service for those who have suffered / affected by the drug. However, I doubt that the machine scanning / "reading" the site's content / text could make the difference, and would not ban your site, (since the content is about the the effectiveness of the drug). - This type of violation is related to the landing page / site content Policy

 

If you decide to remove the trade-name from the ad-text, which is a clear violation of the Policy, I could refer the case on the content of the site, to a Google specialist, to check (get a pre-ruling) if it would pass the criterion of advertising pharmaceutical drugs, arguing that you are not promoting the drug,

 

-Moshe

Further Reading : AdWords advertising Policy:

http://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/bin/topic.py?hl=en&topic=1308252

 

 

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’
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author LawyerCentral
September 2015

Re: Pharma Campaigns/ Landing page and trade-name Policy

Google Employee
# 5
Google Employee

Hi LawyerCentral (and Moshe),

 

I can give a more definitive answer to this one, because I work on this part of AdWords.

 

First, I'm sorry for the long turn-around times on reviews of ads that we think might be pharma-related.  We're trying to hire more people to review 'sensitive' ads, but it's taking longer than I'd hoped to hire them and then we have to train them quite a bit before they can do the work.

 

> Pradaxa is a registered trade-name.

> You cannot use it in your ad-text without getting authorization from the trade-name owner. 

 

This is not true in the US, Canada, UK, and maybe a few other countries.  In those countries you're allowed to use another company's trademark as long as you're selling the trademarked product or providing legitimate consumer information on it.  (I don't think this is the case in Israel, though, which is probably why Moshe didn't know about this exception.   I'm sure I have this subtly wrong and it's different in lawyer-speak; see this page for the gory details.

 

> Moreover; Google does not allow to advertise medicines.

> Only pharmaceutical manufacturers can advertise informational sites on pharmaceutical drugs. 

 

This is also not entirely true.  In most countries we have an exception for "Informational" sites.  When we developed the enforcement mechanism, lawyers fishing for drug lawsuits were definitely one of the use cases we had in mind, and I'm fairly sure we still allow those ads.  Again, the rules on this vary a lot from country to country, and I know the most about how this works in the US.  (Both because I live here and because I was heavily involved in the US rollout of the pharma enforcement system.)  

 

What's going on here is that your ads are getting marked as "Prescription drug Info" since they're about prescription drugs but are not selling them.  (There's another "Prescription drug sale" label that doesn't apply here.)  Since your account doesn't have an associated "certificate" allowing you to run those ads, they get disapproved automatically.  We thought that would be better than approving them and just never showing them; this way at least you know something is wrong.

 

To fix this, you need to contact our policy team and ask for a "Pharma Informational" certificate on your account.   There's a link to a form for this on the help center, but it doesn't work for me.  See if it works for you: go to this page and click on "How can I apply to advertise online pharmacies?"  (Yes, the link is poorly named.  Sigh.)

 

If that doesn't work for you, call support and ask them how to contact the "Policy team" to get the "Pharma Info" certificate.  If they push back, tell them that an AdWords engineer named Laura said you needed to do this, and tell them to look me up in the internal directory if they don't believe you.  And if that doesn't work, see if one of the TCs like Moshe will forward your account info along to me so I can go pester the right people.

 

Once you get the certificate on your account, you'll either need to re-submit your ads (and wait for a review) or ask the support or policy teams to re-review the ads immediately.  I suggest the latter, given how slow reviews are right now.

 

One other note...  Since you have a form on your site that collects personal information (name, email, phone, ...) you need to have a link to a clear privacy policy that specifies what you do with that information, and who you will and won't share it with.  I didn't see one at first glance.  Without one you risk getting your site suspended for "information harvesting".  (There's enough legitimate content on your site that I'm guessing you're safe from this, but I can't say that for sure.)

 

Laura

AdWords review engineer

Re: Pharma Campaigns/ Landing page and trade-name Policy

Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭

I would like to thank you both for all of your help! This has been a very frustrating problem for not just us but for other firms as well! 

 

Lauren,

 

I have reached out to our rep again with the information you have given me and hopefully they respond in a timely matter. As for the privacy policy we do have a disclaimer and terms of use link at the bottom of the page. Since you were unable to find the link very easily we will either move it or make it more clear.

 

Once again, thank you both for the quick and informative replies! Smiley Happy

Re: Pharma Campaigns/ Landing page and trade-name Policy

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

LawyerCentral;

Please keep us posted on the progress.You raised a very interesting case. I am curious about the results.

 

 

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: Pharma Campaigns/ Landing page and trade-name Policy

Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭

I am not getting anywhere with this! I am batteling our Google rep and the support team because for some reason the support team thinks I want to be considerded a reseller. I a, still working on the matter

Re: Pharma Campaigns/ Landing page and trade-name Policy

Google Employee
# 9
Google Employee

Hi,

 

Has there been any resolution to this yet?  If not, I'll forward the thread to someone I know on the policy team and see if they can get things un-stuck.

 

Laura

Re: Pharma Campaigns/ Landing page and trade-name Policy

Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭

Just this morning I recieved an email from someone n the review dept. She feels strongly that we qualify as a informational site. So fingers crossed my ads are in review again. If my ads are approved or disapproved I will let you guys know. Just in case someone else is running into the same problem.

 

Thanks so much for checking in. Smiley Happy