Australian Sex Party gets no love from Google's AdWords

Google has rejected some ads promoting its platform, which touch on drug legalization and euthanasia

The Australian Sex Party is contesting Google's rejection of several AdWords advertisements related to the party's position on marijuana legalization and the right to euthanasia ahead of the federal election next week.
The Australian Sex Party is contesting Google's rejection of several AdWords advertisements related to the party's position on marijuana legalization and the right to euthanasia ahead of the federal election next week.

The Australian Sex Party, a political organization, has a hard time getting some love from Google.

The search engine has rejected several AdWords advertisements related to the party's position on marijuana legalization and voluntary euthanasia. AdWords is Google's pay-per-click product that shows advertisements related to keyword searches and content.

The Australian Sex Party, founded in 2009, is fielding 54 candidates in Australia's upcoming federal election, which will take place on Sept. 7. The party also supports same sex marriage, the decriminalization of personal drug use and better public transport.

The Sex Party has requested a manual review of its AdWords advertisements, which were placed through Google's automated systems, said Fiona Patten, the group's president.

"We are not saying 'Buy marijuana here'," said Patten who is a senate candidate for the state of Victoria. "We are not promoting anything illegal. We are a political party."

One of the ads that was rejected read: "Sex Party. Regulate and Tax Marijuana. Your Life, Your Choice," followed by the party's website address. Patten said her group has budgeted AU$30,000 (US$26,800) to $50,000 for digital election-related advertising, the majority of which will be spent with Google.

A Google spokesman in Sydney said the company does not comment on individual advertisers, but that it was looking into the matter.

Patten said even if the advertisements are approved, the Sex Party has lost out on several days of advertising prior to the election. Even if Google spends 24 hours reviewing an advertisement, "you're losing a considerable amount of time," she said.

"If we are not able to share our policies via online methods, that really limits how we can get our message out there in this election," Patten said. "As a small party, you do have to rely on getting your message out in online forums. We can't afford the television advertising, the radio and print advertising that the major parties can budget for."

Last year, Facebook rejected advertisements bought by the group, but after a manual review, allowed them to be shown, Patten said.

It's not the first time the Australian Sex Party has encountered difficulties in buying ads with Google.

In the run up to a 2010 election campaign, Google rejected some of the party's advertisements due to the use of the word "sex." In July 2012, Google rejected the group's advertisements because the ads showed a donation button, which is not allowed if the advertiser does not have a tax-exempt status.

Australian political parties are not eligible for tax-exempt status. The misunderstanding was resolved only one day prior to a by-election.

As a result, the Australian Sex Party filed letters of complaint in September 2012 with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. The ACCC rejected the complaint, while the DOJ never responded, Patten said.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

More Videos

Are you sure they wont start a platform that the cheese is white, pretty sure that is racist

Hite

New brand name for Coon Cheese revealed

Read more

Real digital transformation requires reshaping the way the business create value for customers. Achieving this requires that organization...

ravi H

10 lessons Telstra has learnt through its T22 transformation

Read more

thanks

Lillian Juliet

How Winedirect has lifted customer recency, frequency and value with a digital overhaul

Read more

Having an effective Point of Sale system implemented in your retail store can streamline the transactions and data management activities....

Sheetal Kamble

​Jurlique’s move to mobile POS set to enhance customer experience

Read more

I too am regularly surprised at how little care a large swathe of consumers take over the sharing and use of their personal data. As a m...

Catherine Stenson

Have customers really changed? - Marketing edge - CMO Australia

Read more

Blog Posts

Brand storytelling lessons from Singapore’s iconic Fullerton hotel

In early 2020, I had the pleasure of staying at the newly opened Fullerton Hotel in Sydney. It was on this trip I first became aware of the Fullerton’s commitment to brand storytelling.

Gabrielle Dolan

Business storytelling leader

You’re doing it wrong: Emotion doesn’t mean emotional

If you’ve been around advertising long enough, you’ve probably seen (or written) a slide which says: “They won’t remember what you say, they’ll remember how you made them feel.” But it’s wrong. Our understanding of how emotion is used in advertising has been ill informed and poorly applied.

Zac Martin

Senior planner, Ogilvy Melbourne

Why does brand execution often kill creativity?

The launch of a new brand, or indeed a rebrand, is a transformation to be greeted with fanfare. So why is it that once the brand has launched, the brand execution phase can also be the moment at which you kill its creativity?

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

Sign in