It’s pretty inarguable how valuable search engine ads can be–businesses pay to appear right at the top of your search results, and Internet advertising often simply boils down to how many sets of eyes come across the message. The more views, the more clicks; trouble is, sometimes advertisers can be less than truthful–even in one sentence or less.
BBB has recently received a number of inquiries and complaints about possibly misleading Google search ads, and it’s one that we definitely have concerns with. It’s no coincidence, of course, that this practice is simultaneously widespread and continuing to grow.
One of the big concerns we have about these ads is something that we share with businesses: there’s only so much space. While it’s true that these ads are very short–again, often less than one complete sentence–that makes the need for truthful advertising in these spaces doubly important. It’s BBB’s opinion that consumers should know what to expect when they’re clicking through sponsored results. Above and beyond that, we feel that these ads should be able to easily meet our advertising guidelines.
For the previously uninitiated, you can find BBB’s Code of Advertising in its entirety here. If you come across an ad you think might be suspect, don’t hesitate to send it our way at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can give us a call at 513-421-3015.