Until about five years ago, we used to be good sized advertisers on Adwords. Google abruptly changed their policies, and with very little warning banished us from Adwords and AdSense. Forever. We never really had a good explanation as to why this happened, only some vague references to “hacking and cracking” in their Terms of Service. (We are fully DMCA compliant, so this is quite puzzling – and unfair.) It was more frustrating at the time because our competitors were allowed to continue advertising. And even today, we still see Google ads for competing products. Google even subsidizes RealPlayer, which offers a basic download functionality along with the bloatware (IMO) that makes up the rest of the product. Today – I’ve finally had enough.
At Ad:Tech in San Francisco, I watched an excellent presentation by Susan Wojcicki, Google’s SVP of Advertising, on the future of online ads. After her speech, I cornered her backstage and explained to her that we never really got a fair hearing, and that Google being the #1 advertising platform has a duty to keep an open playing field. She took my card, and promised to get their Policy Team on the case. She wouldn’t give me her contact info, but I know where she works 😉
I’m not optimistic that Google will change for us. I believe the MPAA and other studios pressure Google to block downloading products. That being said, I wonder why the MPAA doesn’t raise a fuss about RealPlayer being bundled with Google Toolbar and Chrome – both of which subsidize Real’s downloads. Our tools are superior, but it’s still a competitor we have to deal with, and having exclusive access to Google’s products in our category gives them an unfair advantage.
Susan Wojcicki – I’m awaiting a reply…