Low Priced Women On eBay: More Automated Ad Problems At Google

Over in our forums, the Google Ad Complaint thread takes a look at some issues we’ve
discussed before where automation in search ads can lead to confusing, if not misleading, product pitches.

Member tankgreen came across this ad on Google that was upsetting:

Women For Sale
Low Priced Women.
Big Selection! (aff)
ebay.co.uk

"I find the advertisement for the sale of a human being through an on-line auction house completely offensive," tankgreen posted.

Other members quickly jumped in to explain that women were not actually being sold on eBay. Instead, ad automation means that you can bid on a variety of terms and have
those terms automatically inserted within your ad copy. So if you bid broadly on a term like "women," to help sell items that include that word in them (women shoes, women
clothes), you can also wind up inadvertently selling women themselves.

Eventually, the official Google rep who monitors discussions on the forum, AdWordsRep, provided an apology. He also offered a long post explaining how despite having
policies of review, when hundreds of thousands of ads are running, things can slip through the cracks. To quote one part:

While it is unfortunate, occasionally a potentially offensive ad will shown until it can be reviewed. And, equally, when a reviewer is looking at 10,000, or 50,000, or
maybe even 250,000 keywords, they may miss the fact that a few of them may be inappropriate when inserted into the ad itself.

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