See which romantic gay image Google AdWords deemed too “adult”

For the past few months, I’ve been running ads through Google AdWords because they sent me an offer for $100 in credit, and I figured why not. When they recently sent an email suggesting I include an image to my ad for free, I followed their instructions to do so. My ads go to my Amazon author page, and AdWords scanned the page for images and then suggested a few ad ideas. I went with one featuring one of my book covers:


Imagine my surprise when the next day I received this email:





Really? Semper Fi features an “adult” image? I replied to ask them to tell what, pray tell, is “adult” about an image of two men who are fully clothed and not even kissing. I also mentioned how disappointed I was in Google as a company for these discriminatory standards. Unless there is sexual explicitness, images of LGBT couples are no more “adult” than those of their hetero counterparts. No way would an image of a man and woman in that pose be called “adult.”

A Google AdWords rep replied:

Upon receiving your request, I had reached out to the relevant team team to have a look at the matter. Some good news here – the ad has been re-reviewed and approved! In all likelihood, the ad was incorrectly disapproved or violated policies at the time of initial review. I have added a screenshot of the same for your perusal.

Google, in fact, is an industry leader in promoting diversity not only in the workplace, but outside of it too. I can understand your point of view here but I’d just like to tell you that we believe in removing barriers so Googlers can focus on the things and people they love, and that it’s important to provide benefits that serve the unique needs of our Googlers. Some of our most talked-about benefits include our caregiver leave program and our LGBT policies.

Having said that, we, as a company, thrive on user feedback. I have taken yours into account and will pass it on too!

Well, I hope you do, because that disapproval was a steaming load of bullcrap. You’re on notice, Google.

disapproving meryl

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