Editor’s note. The following was sent out by Tom Glessner, the president of The National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), in response to the assault by NARAL on Crisis Pregnancy Centers, also known as Pregnancy Resource Centers and Pregnancy Medical Clinics. We have covered the NARAL/Google story at nrlc.cc/ShPZim; nrlc.cc/ShQ4mr; and nrlc.cc/PY2X2H.
Dear NIFLA Friend,
The attacks against Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs) and Pregnancy Medical Clinics (PMCs) hit a new venue this week when the abortion activist organization, NARAL Pro-Choice America, created a hyped-up media blitz claiming Google was helping them to shut down bogus pregnancy centers. The Washington Post wrote a one-sided article on Monday, April 28, 2014, that states, “Google is removing web search ads for some “crisis pregnancy centers,” after an investigation by NARAL Pro-Choice America found evidence that the ads violate Google’s policy against deceptive advertising.”
NARAL claimed it performed Google searches of the term “abortion clinic, city, state” in 77 localities and found that 79% of the time a prolife center’s paid advertisement appeared. They do not state what was deceptive about the advertising or the webpages linked to the advertising. However, they filed a complaint with Google. In response, Google affirmed its advertising policy that prohibits “misleading, inaccurate and deceitful” ads–a policy we, in the prolife movement, totally agree with and abide by in conformance with the National Commitment of Care and Competence.
As of this point, there are few, if any, confirmed reports that Google has removed any paid advertising whatsoever. There is one Google Ad in question from ’40 Million and Counting’, a prolife group doing its own education and advertising, which may have been removed, but it is not a pregnancy center. The Internet platform advertising companies that NIFLA has talked to report that there have been no consequences to any of their advertising.
The Wall Street Journal reported on April 29, 2014,
“Google reviews ads for relevance, clarity and accuracy using a combination of automated systems and manual review. Where it finds violations, the company said in a statement, “we’ll take the appropriate actions, including account disabling and blacklists, as quickly as possible.” Google said it removed 350 million “bad ads” from its systems in 2013.
In the case of the abortion-clinic ads, a Google spokesman said the ads removed were inaccurate, because they claimed to offer a service that wasn’t offered by the advertiser. The spokesman said Google has not removed all ads for crisis pregnancy centers.
For example, NARAL cited an ad found in a search for “abortion clinics Escondido CA.” The ad read “Free Abortion Clinic CA.” The web page to which the ad linked was posted by ’40 Million and Counting’, a nonprofit organization that does not provide abortion services. The ad did not appear Tuesday in a search for those terms. A spokeswoman for the group did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
By contrast, some ads about which NARAL complained have not been removed. One, from a clinic in Savannah, Ga., advertised a “women’s clinic” that offered “free abortion consultation.”
Interestingly, if you do a search of “Abortion alternatives, city, state,” who do you think shows up in the paid advertising? Go ahead try it! The top three listing will most likely be abortion providers. Talk about deceptive and misleading advertising! Let’s tell Google about that!
If you know of a PRC/PMC that has had its paid advertising removed by Google, please let us know. As a rule we encourage our member centers to stand by the National Commitment of Care and Competence found on our website, www.nifla.org/membership-commitment-of-care.asp which states, among other things, “All of our advertising and communications are truthful and honest, and accurately describe the services we offer.”
Thank you for standing with NIFLA to equip, protect and defend PRCs/PMCs against such circumstances.