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Google Advertising The Courts Technology

Google Sues Dodgy Advertisers 71

Posted by samzenpus
from the we-said-don't-be-evil dept.
angry tapir writes "Google is at its wit's end dealing with illegal sellers of prescription drugs that market medicines on its ad network, so it has decided to take some of these allegedly rogue advertisers to court. Rogue prescription drug sellers have increased in number and become more sophisticated in their dealings, and 'a small percentage' of them have been able to dodge Google's efforts to block them from running ads on its network, according to the company."
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Google Sues Dodgy Advertisers

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 23, 2010 @08:30AM (#33674032)

    Because with any other service providers, of any type, they give back money when the customer violates the terms of service. Oh wait.. they don't. They give you the boot, maybe take you to court, and keep the money.

    Actually, for any service that's terminated, typically by law you are pro-rated on your payment. For example, I pay car insurance in 6mo increments. When I decided to switch insurers, by law, my former agency was not allowed to keep 5mo of payments. Even if I did something that caused them to terminate my policy. I was pro-rated on 5 of the 6 months I paid, and received a check for that amount.

    If only we could put down the rabid idiots.

  • Editors ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mr_Silver (213637) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @08:45AM (#33674118)

    ... please do some editing! There is no need to link to another website when you can go directly to the source [blogspot.com]!

  • Re:google ads (Score:5, Informative)

    by monkeyhybrid (1677192) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @08:54AM (#33674192)
    Just because you and me, and I suspect most Slashdot readers, don't click on ads doesn't mean nobody does. The simple fact is that millions of people do click on ads and Google make an enormous amount of money from it.

    On TV I see adverts for all sorts of thing which are never going to be of any interest to me, my friends, or family, but there are several million other people who will lap it up.

    On another note, I'm actually finding some adverts I see on my Android phone to be much more relevant to me due to the location awareness that comes with a mobile device. Yes, I know Google gathers even more data about me when it also knows where I am, etc, but hey, I just saw my local pizza restaurant has 2 for 1 today. Now, that is useful. ;)
  • by xouumalperxe (815707) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @09:07AM (#33674332)
    We're not talking about "giving the money back", as in returning it. The OP suggested google was "giving [the money] up", as in no longer accepting it. In stopping this sort of advertiser from posting ads, Google is denying itself a source of revenue.
  • by swb (14022) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @10:45AM (#33675526)

    Stolen product is one thing that comes to mind. There's got to be a half-dozen ways to crack into the distribution networks of pharmaceuticals, either through armed robbery, burglary, hijacking, extortion or other methods. Pills aren't teleported to the thousands of pharmacies in the US and not everyone involved in that supply chain is honest or beyond influence.

    It wouldn't also surprise me if more organized efforts hadn't been made to "get into" the wholesaling business whereby you'd have legal access to manufacturers or first-tier distributors, with a portion of the product diverted.

    The other option is re-importation from places like Mexico -- my Dad buys medicine down there, and a lot of it requires no prescription and from what I've seen, appears to be no different than the drugs sold here in terms of packaging, etc, and Dad says most of it is dramatically less expensive.

    But even though some of it may look legitimate, counterfeiting is getting much better. "Good" counterfeits may be the real drug, but packaged to appear to be from a major pharmaceutical supplier -- and may actually BE from there, as "after hours" runs or production overruns/seconds, etc. "Bad" counterfeits may be good packaging but bad product, anything from just expired ingredients, to tainted ingredients, to cheap ingredients that produce similar secondary effects as the real drug, to inert ingredients that do nothing (I wonder how many men get better erections on the placebo principal alone!).

  • by m.ducharme (1082683) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @11:10AM (#33675824)

    I would bet that if your car insurance was terminated because you torched your car to collect on your policy, the insurance company wouldn't have to refund you any part of your paid premiums.

  • by shentino (1139071) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @01:26PM (#33677624)

    In that case any refunds would get absorbed in fines.

  • by OnePumpChump (1560417) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @03:49PM (#33679354)
    I get people coming to the reference desk asking for information about various treatments for ailments. Sometimes actual science-based medicine, sometimes plausible alternative medicine, and sometimes outright quackery, and sometimes all three at once.

    I usually turn the monitor around so that they can see what I am doing. (Sometimes I think this may be a mistake, because they don't understand what I am doing.) If I'm doing a series of Google searches, trying to narrow things down to what we're looking for, they'll stop me and point to the ads. Usually (almost invariably) selling some transparently bogus alternative treatment. (Remember, they're coming to me asking me to help them find out what's what, not necessarily looking for someplace to buy their radiation crystal magnets.) They'll say "OH, OH, THAT'S IT!" when they see a keyword or two in the ad that relates to what they're looking for.

    There are a LOT of people who receive information completely uncritically. They can't tell an ad trying to sell them something from an informational article. They can't tell the difference between an emotional appeal or an argument based essentially on sympathetic magic from actual science. THESE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO CLICK THOSE ADS. They'll reject things if they've been inoculated against it, but only because they've been told that they should, and had that admonition connected to some deeply held belief. They won't do so because they have legitimately considered whether it could be true or false.

    That is why advertisers, particularly on Google with its text ads, have the potential to do a lot of harm.

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