Australian Court Finds Google Culprit Over ‘Misleading’ And ‘Deceptive’ Search Ads

Posted on Apr 3 2012 - 7:30am by Editorial Staff

SBS reports that the search giant has been found guilty over posting of misleading and deceptive advertisement, after the Federal Court upheld an appeal from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The ruling which is found that, in four cases, Google was ultimately responsible for misleading adverts that companies took out in bids to grab traffic from searches of competitors’ brands and products.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims claimed that the ruling was an important reminder that Web services must remain accountable:

This is an important outcome because it makes it clear that Google and other search engine providers which use similar technology to Google will be directly accountable for misleading or deceptive paid search results.

The ACCC brought this appeal because it raises very important issues as to the role of search engine providers as publishers of paid content in the online age.

Talking with TNW, Google Spokesperson told:

We are disappointed by the Federal Court’s decision that Google should be responsible for the content of four particular ads on its platform. Google AdWords is an ads hosting platform, and we believe that advertisers should be responsible for the ads they create on the AdWords platform.

We’re committed to providing an advertising platform that benefits both advertisers and users. We investigate complaints about violations of our policies and terms and conditions, and if we are notified of an ad violating our terms and conditions we will remove it. We are currently reviewing our options in light of the court’s decision.

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