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Google Ads Block Hunting Video

Google reversed its decision to deny a Google ad to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) due to pressure from Representative Greg Gianforte (R-MT) and Senator Steve Daines (R-MT).

RMEF recently sought to apply paid advertising behind a short hunting video in the form of a Google ad, as it has done scores of times in the past. Instead of approval, RMEF received an email stating “any promotions about hunting practices, even when they are intended as a healthy method of population control and/or conservation, is considered as animal cruelty and deemed inappropriate to be shown on our network.”

The video in question can be viewed below.

“We greatly appreciate the immediate actions of Representative Gianforte and Senator Daines,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president, and CEO. “As Montanans and sportsmen, they understand, value and cherish our hunting heritage as well as RMEF’s conservation mission. Without their quick and effective response, our ability to promote ethical hunting and vital conservation work would be hindered.” “Google Ads represent an important tool that we use to increase engagement in messaging,” said Steve Decker, vice president of Marketing. “It allows us to disseminate information to a broader relevant audience about ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat, and our hunting heritage.”

RMEF reached out to the Montana delegation for help with the issue on the morning of May 3. Representative Gianforte and Senator Daines immediately called RMEF for details and issued a letter that afternoon calling on Google to reverse the prohibitions and reexamine its policy interpretations. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) also made a call on RMEF’s behalf to Google that afternoon.

Google reviewed the issue and stated it was an oversight that had been corrected. Currently, the RMEF may continue to advertise as it has in the past.

A Google spokesperson told Montana’s KULR-8 “Google doesn’t have a policy prohibiting hunting ads. We do have a policy against ads that promote animal cruelty or feature gratuitous violence towards animals. In this case, we made a mistake and the ad is now approved to run.”


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