Google Allows Rehab Ads After Nearly Year-Long Ban

August 3, 2018, 12:52 PM UTC

After a long ban, Google will once again allow organizations to run addiction center and rehab ads.

Providers that have been vetted by a company named LegitScript, which Google hired to determine which medical businesses could be trusted to help people with addictions, will now be allowed to run ads related to drug abuse, TechCrunch is reporting after confirming the move with Google. When people search for topics related to quitting drug use or query the service for topics like “meth addiction,” the ads will now be displayed.

In September, Google (GOOGL) announced that it would stop displaying ads on addiction-related queries pending further review. The move came after reports surfaced showing large and expensive “addiction centers” targeting people seeking help. Those people would click the ads, sign up for the centers, and get little to no help with their addiction.

Google’s ban started in the U.S., but it instituted a global ban in January. Google said at the time that it would only bring back ads that are safe and ethical. And it enlisted the help of LegitScript to determine which organizations could be trusted.

According to Google, every company that’s now allowed to advertise on addiction-related queries needed to pass a 15-point test. Those points included having proper licensing and demonstrable success at treating addiction. Any organization that couldn’t pass the test is not allowed to advertise on Google.

A Google spokesperson told TechCrunch that the organizations will begin running ads as soon as they’re certified.

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