Google in January will start running ads for some products made with CBD for the first time, in a program designed to test the loosening of its rules on promoting the cannabis-derived substance formally called cannabidiol.
The news represents a small breakthrough for CBD product owners, which have long been blocked by some technology companies from advertising online.
“Google’s decision to open the door for some CBD products to advertise is a step in the right direction,” said Lisa Buffo, founder and chief executive of the Cannabis Marketing Association. “The opportunity for businesses to connect with their customers, where they are, is long overdue.”
The pilot comes in response to the prevalence and widespread availability of CBD products, a Google spokesman said. The company in October reported its fifth consecutive quarter of slowing sales growth, with its YouTube video platform posting a drop in advertising revenue for the first time since the company began reporting the unit’s performance.
WSJ | CMO Today
CMO Today delivers the most important news of the day for media and marketing professionals.
Google, which remains the world’s largest digital advertising company, on Jan. 20 will update two of its ad policies to allow for the promotion of pharmaceuticals containing CBD that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in a pilot program.
It will also run ads for topical, hemp-derived products so long as their content of tetrahydrocannabinol—the psychoactive substance found in the cannabis plant—is measured at less than 0.3%. These include products such as candles, bath bombs and beauty products.
The approved ads in the pilot will initially only be shown to users in California, Colorado and Puerto Rico. They won’t be shown to users identified as under the age of 18, and on certain ad formats such as masthead YouTube banners.
Ads promoting other CBD-based products, including supplements, food additives and inhalants, will continue not to be accepted by Google’s ad business. But Google will remove CBD from its ad business’s list of banned pharmaceuticals and supplements, according to a company blog-post published Thursday.
The relaxation follows similar moves by Twitter Inc., which in 2019 approved some advertisers of non-ingestible, topical CBD products to target U.S. users with ads in most states. Many large digital advertising companies, including
and Instagram-owner Meta Platforms Inc., still prohibit ads promoting CBD and cannabis products.
““Allowing all businesses to advertise their lawful products would provide the potential for …….