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Google to Ban ICO and Crypto Ads - Sources

By Linas Kmieliauskas

Google has decided to ban all initial coin offering and cryptocurrency related advertising on its search engine, two sources familiar with the matter told Cryptonews.com.

The ban is about to come into force in all jurisdictions this March, according to the sources. UPDATE on March 14th: Google confirmed that restrictions will come into force in June] We have representatives of the Google marketing team right now in Blockchain Centre Vilnius - however they have no information on this case. Cryptonews.com has also reached out to Google headquarters for additional comment, however the company did not respond.

The ban would be announced at the time when Google searches for the search terms "Cryptocurrency" and "ICO" are falling.

In February, The Times of Israel reported that Canadian and other law enforcement agencies were waiting for Google to follow Facebook and enact a specific ban.

"What happened is that Canada’s Binary Options Task Force as well as the FBI explained to Facebook what the concerns were and that these types of ads are leading to people becoming victims. We’ve been talking to Google and had similar discussions and are waiting for them to take similar action," Jason Roy, a senior investigator at the Manitoba Securities Commission and chairman of Canada’s Binary Options Task Force, told The Times of Israel.

In January, Facebook announced its decision to ban all ads that promote cryptocurrencies and ICOs.

In its new advertising policy, Facebook outlined that it will prohibit ads that “promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.”

Blockchain media experts supported Facebook's decision as "this is good for the industry in the long run". "The ability to promote potentially scammy ICOs with ads that the general public may get duped by would ultimately hurt ICOs as a whole," Margaux Avedisian, executive vice president of Transform Group, a U.S.-based PR firm with a focus on blockchain companies, told Cryptonews.com in January.

However, the broadness of the Facebook's policy includes anything with the word crypto in it, meaning that companies, publishers hoping to share educational materials, consulting services, news about the blockchain industry also fall under these restrictions. Draper University has been unable to share ads about their courses on cryptocurrency, for example - something with no correlation to ICO frauds.

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