Google gets knickers in twist over lingerie ads


3 Dec 2007

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Google has been labelled as prudish by a US lingerie firm after the search giant banned ads it deemed ‘too sexy’ for the European market.

The offending ads were part of Pampered Passions’ campaign inviting men to buy sexy lingerie for their girlfriends this Christmas.

According to the company, the suggestive tone and the mild nudity in the images, though, proved too much for Google, which refused to allow the ads to be shown on its network.

It says that even though the ads are targeted exclusively at a European audience and have very limited nudity and very mild content, Google has insisted on upholding “stringent, often prudish guidelines that may seem sensible in the US but come across as laughable here”.

Google told Pampered Passions: “The ad has been disapproved for adult content. Only family-safe images will be approved. Images that are classified as non-family-safe or adult content are disapproved and will not run. Your image contains nudity and mature themes.”

A spokesperson for Pampered Passions said: “Google’s refusal to show ads that are completely acceptable to UK audiences on their network is turning out to be an increasingly frequent occurrence.

“Google is an American company and while it might seem to be really ‘cool’ and ‘liberal’ in the US, its policies do seem rather conservative for European consumers.

“An outright ban on ads no ruder than a Christmas cracker joke and featuring less flesh than a swimwear catalogue seems pretty ‘uncool’ to us,” Pampered Passions added.

By John Kennedy