Senior academic and former banker blasts Google crypto ad ban

David Coker, Lecturer in Accounting, Finance and Governance at Westminster Business School and former Vice President of Global Risk Management at Deutsche Bank, has questioned the motives behind Google’s ban on cryptocurrency adverts, effective today.

Earlier this year, the tech giant’s Director of Sustainable Ads, Scott Spencer, said in a blog post: “We have updated several policies to address ads in unregulated or speculative financial products like binary options, cryptocurrency, foreign exchange markets and contracts for difference (or CFDs).” Similar moves have been made by Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft.

But, asks Coker, is Google really as kind and caring as it makes out? “This is the same Google which has been repeatedly accused of profiting from America’s opioid crisis, to the point where the ad giant willingly forfeited some $500 million of revenue gained by allowing Canadian online pharmacies to advertise drugs to Americans,” he says. “The same Google which as recently as June 2017, was accused in court of facilitating trademark infringement via its AdWords platform. And the same Google which in January of this year admitted, in its annual ‘bad ads’ report, that it accepted advertising revenue from hundreds of sites distributing fake news.”

For some time now, rumours of a Google Coin have been swirling. While there has been no official announcement by Google, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has publicly admitted his company was considering its own cryptocurrency offering to facilitate trade on its platform. “So perhaps Google’s cryptocurrency ban has an ulterior motive? Perplexingly this move comes just weeks after Google removed its long-standing motto, ‘Don’t Be Evil’ from its corporate code of conduct,” says Coker.

“While there is nothing evil in corporations generating profits, Google does control almost 90% of the market for online advertisements. If it does indeed launch a cryptocurrency of its own this ban might one day be viewed as a highly questionable business decision,” he concludes.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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