Payday Loan Companies Find Ways Around Google's Ad Ban

Google banned ads for payday loans, but they continue to appear on the site

Payday Loan Companies Find Ways Around Google's Ad Ban
October 7, 2016

In May, after calls for tighter payday loan regulations and fines levied against companies for deceptive practices, Google banned all payday loans from its search results. The ban went into effect on July 20, but more than two months later, the ban appears to have had little effect. Ads for payday loans and other high-interest loans continue to appear in Google results, and the search engine seems to have lost little in Ad Words revenue.

This is not due to a lack of effort on Google's part. The company did put a ban in place, but it had specific parameters that payday loan companies quickly learned to circumvent. The ban stated that the loans advertised had to have an interest rate of 36% or lower, and must allow at least sixty days for repayment.

Many of the ads that now appear on Google state that those are the terms of the payday loan. However, at the end of those terms, a symbol denotes several small lines of fine print at the bottom of the ad. These lines of small text state that these terms are only an example and that the actual rates may be different.

Few ads found on the site actually violate the new policy. A Google representative has said that the search giant will continue to police ads and will ban those that directly violate the policy.

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Carla | 10.07.16 @ 15:25
This doesn't surprise me. These types of loan outlets to me are crooks with their high percentage rates and crooks will find a way to cheat the system. I hope Google stays on top of them.
Kamie | 10.07.16 @ 15:26
Pay day loans are one of the smartest "scams" ever! I wish it was completely banned, like how the state of Arizona has it, it is not even allowed in the state. People can go into debt with these pay day loans.
Chrisitna | 10.07.16 @ 15:40
There are always loopholes for these types of scams. It's so important to read all the fine print and really understand what you are getting into!
Brittany | 10.07.16 @ 16:13
How is this really surprising? Companies will always do whatever they can to try and find loopholes to get around bans, so, this isn't all that shocking.
Jane | 10.07.16 @ 16:39
Well, they may as well not have banned those ads at all, then. If they're still showing up in Google search results as ads, but with disclaimers, Google still gets it's revenue.
Zanna | 10.07.16 @ 20:59
This sounds a bit disingenuous on both sides - Google gets to "ban" the ads and keep them at the same time, while those loan peddlers just keep on with what they're doing with a little *may not apply to all loans* disclaimer. Pitiful.
Crystal | 10.07.16 @ 23:29
I'm surprised Google hasn't put a stop to this. With so much tech at their hands. But then again, these companies are sharks. Ruthless.
$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 12.01.20 @ 19:02