Google Advertises Busted Triamazon Cancer Cure

After yesterday’s raids by the MHRA on suspect dodgy pill sellers and their ‘Internet Day of Action’, perhaps one of the largest profiteers from such schemes will get away with it.

Google has been quite happy to take money from triamazon.com to show adverts for the site and the hugely overpriced food supplement pretending to be a miracle cancer cure.

This is despite the fact that Google has a clear policy that it will not do such things. As part of its advertising terms it says that it will not take adverts for:

Miracle Cures
Advertising is not permitted for the promotion of miracle cures, such as ‘Cure cancer overnight!’

Furthermore, by taking money for such adverts, Google will be in contravention of the Cancer Act of 1939 which says,

No person shall take any part in the publication of any advertisement—

containing an offer to treat any person for cancer, or to prescribe any remedy therefor, or to give any advice in connection with the treatment thereof

People do get prosecuted under the terms of this Act. Trading Standards have a duty to enforce it. However, as Trading Standards tend to be highly fragmented across local councils, none of them appear to want to take on the Google giant. I believe Westminster Trading Standards as their UK address is given as,

Google UK Ltd
Belgrave House
76 Buckingham Palace Road
London
SW1W 9TQ
United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0)20-7031-3000
Fax: +44 (0)20-7031-3001

However, Westminster undoubtedly have many higher priorities making sure dodgy plumbers do not rip off senile old ladies who live on Buckingham Palace Road.

I have complained to Google before about similar issues and also to Trading Standards. Ignored, so far. Google should be policing their own noble ‘do no evil’ terms, and if they cannot they should be prosecuted where they flout the law. Perhaps the MHRA, as part of their Internet day of action, could tackle one of the largest advertisers on the web. Google has the power to make or break such companies. The MHRA ought to be concerned.

On this theme…

3 Comments on Google Advertises Busted Triamazon Cancer Cure

  1. Ironic, given that your pages can be pulled so easily with just a single complaint from an affronted quack. Somewhat hypocritical of google – but I guess you don’t pay them like the advertisers do.

    I was also amused by the ad underneath the one show illustrating this post – “positive pain relief – more effective than acupunture”. So, not going up against analgesia then?

  2. “Leafing” though your site…
    Even whilse it’s down it’s fab.
    I can’t believe the people that will do and say anything for Greed.
    But I should know better.
    Never give an inch.
    To quote the B man :
    “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”

    Buddha

  3. No apologies for commenting on an old article.

    It seems there are two degrees of committing an offence under the Cancer Act 1939, that of doing it knowingly or unknowingly. Given Google Advertising’s automated processes I would have thought that they would have accepted the placement of the advert without it passing human eyes. They are running a risk by doing this but they do tend to respond, with a human this time, to any complaints made. They would be foolish to retain a given advert if it’s pointed out to them that it is in breach and they do have a procedure for doing this.

    Either way they would still strictly be in breach if they carried such an ad, but newspaper editors*, for example, have in the past been able to use the defence that not every single ad passed their eyes before publication. Even though they are ultimately responsible for all content they publish, this position has been used in successfully when a prosecution was brought.

    My point is that automated online advertising is not inherently evil. Only those ads that remain up after a complaint is received are.

    *http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/story.asp?storyCode=29053&sectioncode=1

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