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

Blog Posts

3 skills you need to drive better collaboration

A study published in The Harvard Business Review found the time spent in collaborative activities at work has increased by over 50 per cent in the past two decades. Larger projects; complicated problems; tighter timeframes: These require bigger teams with specialised skillsets and diverse backgrounds, often dispersed globally.

Jen Jackson

CEO, Everyday Massive

Better the bank you know?

In 2018, only 21 per cent of customers believed that banks in general had their customers best interests at heart and behave ethically. Only 26 per cent believed that banks will keep their promises; views cemented further following the Hayne Financial Services Royal Commission.

Carolyn Pitt

Head of account management, Hulsbosch

What 15 years of emotional intelligence told us about youth media audiences

Taking people on an emotional journey through content is the most critical part of being a publisher. Which is why emotion lies at the heart of VICE Media.

Stephanie Winkler

Head of insights, VICE Asia-Pacific

This journey would identify all your future life aspects!

Maryann Humphrey

Open Colleges: one-to-one journeys is the goal

Read more

It's a pretty good idea. I think this integration is useful. Don't you agree?

Misty Stoll

Officeworks hops on voice interface bandwagon with Google Assistant integration

Read more

ok. so no RCS support? by the way, RCS is a lot bigger than 5G in terms of marketing and monetisation so y'all should be covering it.

DragoCubed

Optus goes for education with 5G network campaign

Read more

Many companies and individual merchants have shifted their major part of marketing to web marketing services Portland as it weighs fewer ...

Radiata Solutions

6 Ways to ramp up Social Media to Your Web Design

Read more

This is a unique experience! Will be interesting to talk to their managers.

Joyce Harris

​How Krispy Kreme revitalised its brand in a saturated market

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in