Google and ‘Crisis Pregnancy Center’ ads

The Left and entities that push evil agendas will increasingly use bullying tactics and threats to silence all opposition, especially concerning Faith and morals.

From LifeSite:

Planned Parenthood ad shows up prominently in Google search for ‘Crisis Pregnancy Center’

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, May 1, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – NARAL Pro-Choice America recently boasted that Google had taken down “deceptive” ads from crisis pregnancy centers allegedly posing as abortion providers. However, a Google search for “crisis pregnancy center” returned a Google ad for an unexpected business: Planned Parenthood.

The nation’s largest abortion provider ranked number three in the ads displayed during a search for crisis pregnancy centers, the pro-life centers that help young women get the medical and economic assistance they need to help them keep their babies.

The ad shows the words “Crisis Pregnancy Center,” followed by the URL “PlannedParenthood.org.” “Learn about pregnancy care and your options,” reads the descriptor text.

Planned Parenthood has been harshly critical of crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), dedicating an entire webpage to attacking its pro-life competitors. “Deciding what to do about an unplanned pregnancy can be very difficult. It may be made even more difficult by so-called ‘crisis pregnancy centers,’” Planned Parenthood writes. “These are fake clinics run by people who are anti-abortion.”

The abortion giant warns these centers “may not give you complete and correct information about all your options — abortion, adoption, and parenting.” It also states that CPCs “may try to frighten you with misleading films and pictures to keep you from choosing abortion,” and “may lie to you about the medical and emotional effects of abortion.”

“These fake clinics often trick women with false advertising,” Planned Parenthood complained.

It is unclear why the billion dollar organization, which performed 327,166 abortions in 2012, would want to be confused with the humble, often volunteer-led organizations that refuse to perform or refer women for terminations of pregnancy.

A spokesperson for Google did not respond to LifeSiteNews’s question about whether the company considers the Planned Parenthood ad “deceptive,” or whether the case is comparable to the pro-life pregnancy center ads the company has reportedly blocked.

[...]

Read the rest there.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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15 Responses to Google and ‘Crisis Pregnancy Center’ ads

  1. Mike says:

    When I was a lad, companies that were alleged to have engaged in predatory advertising were flayed morning and night in Catholic pulpit and Catholic press. Nestlé was a particular bête noire of the justice-and-peace crowd that took over the Church in these USA during the 1980s.

    One hears no comparable drumbeat of indignation today about Google or its pro-abortion corporate brethren. Perhaps we will take it up during the Fortnight For Freedom?

  2. Andrew D says:

    I saw this story on an enewsletter I get from LifeSite and am taking action. I am a marketing manager for a large global corporation and I spend roughly $5,000 per month on AdWords with Google. I bid on competitors names and my competitors bid on our names – that’s how the free market works! For Google to selectively punish crisis pregnancy centers at the commands of the butchers of planned parenthood is akin to those who collaborated with the nazis. I am in the process of shifting my AdWords dollars from Google over to Bing and I hope I’m not the only one. And yes, I will be letting Google know why I’m doing this.

  3. JustaSinner says:

    Google IS Evil,,,

  4. Kerry says:

    “God was lying to you, trying to frighten you. Just one bite; it’s a very small fruit, and so tasty too…”

  5. LeeF says:

    Dealing with false advertising is typically left to one’s competitors and civil processes unless financial fraud is involved in which case the government might initiate a criminal process. But for google to take upon itself the regulation of so-called false advertising is pure censorship. But that shouldn’t be a surprise since for financial gain they play footsie with dictatorships like China in enabling censorship there.

    Google won the search engine wars and looked like it had clear sailing before it. Perhaps another search engine will make non-censorship its primary niche and give them some real competition. Unless legally mandated by a democratic government, search engines should not involve themselves in censorship.

  6. mamajen says:

    I recently discovered a crisis pregnancy center in my area and visited their website to look into volunteering. Regarding abortion, the website was very ambiguous. Nowhere did the site explicitly state that they are anti-abortion, anti-birth control, etc. Perhaps that is a strategy to get pregnant women in the door, but for someone like me, it left me wondering if I could work with them in good conscience. Of course I can call them up to ask questions and clarify, and maybe find further information on other websites. But if they were using keyword trickery to mislead people into thinking they provide abortions, or otherwise support abortion, I don’t think that’s a good tactic, and it’s not surprising that it didn’t fly with Google.

    I just conducted a Google search for “Crisis Pregnancy Center” and indeed did observe a Planned Parenthood ad in the sidebar in the fourth position. Its headline reads “Crisis Pregnancy Center”. Below that is the Planned Parenthood URL, a phone number, and then it says “Learn About Pregnancy Care and Your Options. Get Advice Today.” I think it will be a tough sell to get it removed, however. Is “Crisis Pregnancy Center” legally defined as an organization that does not provide abortion services? I’m just not sure what kind of argument would work. But, if anyone is keen to try, here is Google’s complaint form:
    https://support.google.com/adwords/contact/feedback

  7. Supertradmum says:

    Some faith-based anti-abortion groups of volunteers do use terms such as “women’s choice center” or “crisis pregnancy center” to get women to come in and talk about not getting an abortion. Those in the local areas where these are located know that such groups are anti-abortion even though the ads do not come right out and state such.

    I have no trouble with the lack of advertising, as one can find out quickly the pro-life ethos of a group. BTW, in one town where the pro-life, anti-abortion “choice center” is going strong, the PP facility was closed.

    Christ asks us to be “wise as serpents and guileless as doves.” Sometimes, wisdom is not being obvious and allowing for interpretations.

    Google is another question, another problem, which is not going away.

  8. Jerry says:

    LeeF – “Dealing with false advertising is typically left to one’s competitors and civil processes unless financial fraud is involved in which case the government might initiate a criminal process. ”

    Apparently you have no experience working with Google AdWords (the program used to place the ads being discussed here) or search engine optimization (SEO). I deal with both in the technical space (i.e., not dealing with controversial content/issues such as abortion), and I am constantly frustrated by the behing-the-scene manipulations by Google.

    The majority of Google’s income comes from the advertising programs, whose effectiveness is in turn based on how many people use their search engine, which is determined by how relevant people find the results. Google is very sensitive to this and micro-manages both the search engine results and ad displays, and is notorious for penalizing or even blocking both ads and web pages from the search engine results and for being unresponsive to those attempting to correct the problems.

    They have many algorithms that test both ad and landing page content for relevance to the keywords specified for the ad display and vary the ad performance and cost based on how relevant they are deemed to be and the conversion rate (how many people click on them); in some cases, yes, they even block ads. They have similar processes for how web pages are ranked for display in the organic search results.

    While I don’t agree with Google’s practices, I have not yet seen anything that suggests what happened here was outside their norm, especially if the Crisis Pregnancy Center ads or the landing pages they linked to were misleading about abortion, as alleged.

    As a side note: I searched for just before starting this response and was not shown any ads for Planned Parenthood on the first four pages of the search results.

  9. jhayes says:

    Here is an industry website that concludes that Google has not changed its policy and that the only ads affected are those that claim to provide abortion services when they don’t

    Do Google’s actions mark a policy change on abortion related advertising? Is this an indication the company is taking a political stance on the issue? Are all ads from pregnancy centers banned on Google? Did NARAL tread new ground in “lobbying” Google to remove ads it found misleading?

    The answer to all of these questions is, No.

    HERE

  10. CrimsonCatholic says:

    mamajen- Yes some crisis pregnancy centers do have ambiguous information and have names similar to abortion centers. The idea is to get pregnant women through the door, and give the real “choice” and options they deserve, instead of just the option of abortion. The place I donate to get many calls from women and men seeking abortion. When they come in they have counselors and support(like baby clothes, food, etc.) for the women plus mothering class and such. They wouldn’t save as many babies if they didn’t use these tactics.

  11. scarda says:

    Perhaps we should take a hint from various animal rescue groups. A No-Kill Pregnancy Center, or perhaps even a No-Kill Parenting Center might better appeal to modern sensibilities while leaving no doubt as to the moral stand taken, and it is SO politically correct.

  12. AngelGuarded says:

    What a great idea, scarda! We have to change the language if we want the truth to be heard. The low-information media/society/culture have had such an awful impact with their “newspeak.” And we go along. Murder of a baby in the womb becomes “choice,” pro-life becomes “anti-choice,” and on and on, and anyone who does not agree is called and considered intolerant haters. Well, murdering babies sounds like hate to me. It is truly horrific how the abortion enthusiasts have taken over. The LAST thing Banned Parenthood wants is to give women a choice. Why, when asked, do most post-abortive women say they felt they had no choice? Google probably thinks pro-life is a political position. What other political position involves cheering on the murder of innocent and helpless human beings?! Gee, I sound downright intolerant. St Gianna Molla, pray for us!

  13. excalibur says:

    There is at least one petition going around. Not mine, here is the link below.

    “Demand Google Stop Banning Pro-Life Ads” addressed to Larry Page.

    Help me to make this petition succeed by asking your friends and family to sign it. It is very easy to share it with your friends on Facebook: you just have to click this link http://www.citizengo.org/en/signit/6771/view.

  14. jhayes says:

    LifeNews says that Google has removed “few if any ads.”

    One of the leading national networks for pregnancy centers is responding to the dustup this week that Google has supposedly banned pregnancy center ads after pressure from the pro-abortion group NARAL. But it appears NARAL is enjoying a hollow victory, as few, if any, pregnancy centers have seen their ads removed.

    Representatives from from Heartbeat International, a network of thousands of pregnancy centers across the country and around the world, tell LifeNews that they’re not worried about their ads being banned because they don’t lie to or mislead women, contrary to NARAL’s false claims.

    In fact, since publishing early reports at LifeNews, multiple representatives of pregnancy center networks and individual pregnancy centers have confirmed that their ads have not been removed from Google nor have other ads they are used to seeing at Google from sister centers.

    HERE

  15. Jerry says:

    CrimsonCatholic – “Yes some crisis pregnancy centers do have ambiguous information and have names similar to abortion centers. The idea is to get pregnant women through the door, and give the real “choice” and options they deserve, instead of just the option of abortion. ”

    While I certainly understand the reasoning behind this approach, as a practical matter it is very problematic. First, ads of this nature are a violation of Google AdWords policies and are subject to removal for the ambiguous keywords (that is, ads of this nature might still appear for searches for but be blocked for searches for . The policies are general and are routinely applied across the board, not just for abortion/pro-life ads.

    Second, and more important, it is this type of “deception” provides the ammunition rabid pro-abortion politicians need to garner support for anti-CPC legislation, such as that in NYC. While this type of legislation is in most cases an over-reaction and far over-reaching, the reality is that it’s out there and, if successful, will become increasingly common. It is imprudent for the CPCs to continue with this type of deception. An ounce of prevention…