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2019 Elections: This time, Google promises to tell all about political ads

PW Bureau

Google said it is looking to roll out an India-specific political advertising transparency report and a searchable Political Ads Library in the country   Bengaluru: With an objective to make political ads more transparent ahead of this year’s General Elections, Google is planning to verify the identity and eligibility of Indian advertisers seeking to run election advertisements on its platform. For this, the search engine giant is looking to roll out an India-specific political advertising transparency report and a searchable Political Ads Library in the country. Last year, Facebook announced a similar process for advertisers wanting to run political ads in India. Google said the report and the political ad database will go live in March, while they will also show data on how much advertisers are spending to run ads on Google Ads Services in India. The verification process is scheduled to begin from February 14. A ‘pre-certificate’, issued by the Election Commission of India (ECI) or other authoritative sources, must also be submitted by advertisers for each political ad they want to run.

Data from ECI will be easily discoverable on Google

Google added that they will make electoral data from the ECI and other sources easily discoverable on its search engine. “We are thinking hard about elections and how we continue to support democratic processes in India and around the world,” said Chetan Krishnaswamy, director, public policy at Google India. “In line with this, we are bringing more transparency to election advertising online, and surfacing relevant information to help people better navigate the electoral process.” Google will soon roll out a “paid for by” disclosure with the name of the individual or organisation on all political advertisements using the data given during the verification process.