Google announced today that it is launching an identity verification program for all advertisers, starting in the U.S. prior to a global expansion. The goal of this policy is to provide more transparency to users in terms of the identity and country of origin of those who advertise to them.
The program is an extension of a previous verification policy implemented by Google in 2018 for U.S. election ads. This will require advertisers across Google's platforms to complete a number of steps before they can purchase ads on the company's network. This includes the submission of personal identification, business incorporation documents, or other information that will authenticate their identity and country where they operate. These pieces of information will be displayed to users in the form of ad disclosures starting this summer.
Regarding the new ad policy, John Canfield, Director of Product Management for Ads Integrity at Google, said:
"This change will make it easier for people to understand who the advertiser is behind the ads they see from Google and help them make more informed decisions when using our advertising controls. It will also help support the health of the digital advertising ecosystem by detecting bad actors and limiting their attempts to misrepresent themselves."
The search giant acknowledges the long amount of time it will take for the verification to wrap up, and expects the process to complete after a few years. While at that, it will start showing information related to an advertiser's identity on the ads it serves to users. Advertisers will have 30 days to complete the program after submitting the required documents to Google. Failure to do so will result in their ads not serving.