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Google's ad boss promises to 'bust bad ads' in fight back against fraudsters

Google's recently appointed top advertising executive Sridhar Ramaswamy is promising a crackdown on bad actors in the digital media space to consumers in the year ahead, along with stricter measurement for advertisers to more accurately reflect audiences' intentions.  

The dual pledge to both ends of the Google user base reflects growing concerns over both transparency in the online advertising space - regarding issues such as malware, and phishing - as well as the issues facing media buyers, such as being charged for accidental clicks, in a  bid to provide a better overall user experience. 

Ramaswamy, who was appointed as Google's SVP, ads & commerce, in September last year, discussed the trend in a blog post entitled 'How we found bad ads' published earlier today (21 January), promised a fightback against players that would spread malware, cover up user content, or promote fake goods via its suite of advertising tools. 

"Bad ads can ruin your entire online experience, a problem we take very seriously. That’s why we have a strict sets of policies for the kinds of ads businesses can run with Google—and why we’ve invested in sophisticated technology and a global team of 1,000+ people dedicated to fighting bad ads," reads the post. 

The post goes on to state how last year Google disabled over 780 million ads in its bid to prevent such widespread malpractice, with those advertisers making misleading claims about pharmaceutical and weight loss products also singled out for condemnation. 

"Through a combination of computer algorithms and people at Google reviewing ads, we’re able to block the vast majority of these bad ads before they ever get shown," said Ramaswamy. 

Additionally, Google is also promising consumers greater control over the type of ads they are served with, 

Fighting 'fat thumb' syndrome

In addition, Google is also promising to offer advertisers better measurement of the performance of mobile campaigns,p articularly along the lines of accidental clicks, a phenomena commonly referred to as "fat thumbs syndrome". 

As part of this initiative, Google is also promising to bar ads that deliberately place ads close to content, with a view to tricking users into clicking on an ad whenever they are actually trying to click on editorial content.  

"Through a combination of computer algorithms and people at Google reviewing ads, we’re able to block the vast majority of these bad ads before they ever get shown," concluded Ramaswamy. 

Featured by The Drum