Google to make online advertising for elections more transparent

Users will be able to get information on who is buying election ads on Google platforms and how much money is being spent

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Google has said that with the upcoming Lok Sabha elections it is bringing more openness to online election advertising and is enabling voters to get election-related information they need. 

Google will introduce an India-specific Political Advertising Transparency Report and searchable Political Ads Library. These will provide information about who is purchasing election ads on Google platforms and how much money is being spent. The India Political Ads Transparency Report and Ads Library will go live in March. 

The updated election ads policy for India will require advertisers running election ads in India to provide a ‘pre-certificate’ issued by the Election Commision of India or anyone authorized by the ECI for each ad they wish to run. 

Further, Google will verify the identity of advertisers before their election ads run on its platforms. The advertiser verification process will begin on February 14. 

Chetan Krishnaswamy, Director - Public Policy, Google India said, “In 2019, over 850 million Indians are expected to cast their vote to elect the country’s next government. We’re thinking hard about elections and how we continue to support democratic processes in India and around the world. In line with this, we are bringing more transparency to election advertising online, and surfacing relevant information to help people better navigate the electoral process.”

In the build up to the elections, people need useful and relevant information to help them navigate the electoral process. For the Lok Sabha elections, Google will make electoral information from the Election Commission and other authoritative sources easily discoverable on Search. 

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