Originally published: August 12, 2010
Last updated: August 12, 2010 - 8:31pm
The majority of Google's revenue comes from AdWords, its flagship pay-per-click advertising product that brought in $23 billion last year. Now, the Internet behemoth is looking to increase those earnings by wading into the tricky world of election law.
On August 5, Google filed a brief with the Federal Elections Commissions for an exemption from campaign finance disclosure rules. Under current law, sponsors of campaign ads must disclose their names, affiliations, and contact information in certain instances. We've all experienced this during elections when politicians conclude their muckraking campaign spots with the hurried message: "I'm so-and-so, and I approve this message." But there are a few exceptions to the rule such as advertisements delivered via text message or bumper sticker, for example -- where the FEC recognizes a 'small items' exemption -- ads for which a disclaimer just isn't practical. Google is hoping that its AdWords platform falls under this same "small item" exemption. Google claims such regulation could jeopardize AdWords as a tool for lesser-known candidates. It wants "confirmation" that its ads--which contain a maximum of just 95 characters -- do not require such disclaimers.
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