back to article Financial watchdog says Google's clampdown on scam ads might not be enough to prevent stricter laws in Britain

The UK's financial regulator has given a lukewarm response to Google's plans to tighten the promotion of scams on its platforms. It has warned that Google's actions may not be enough to halt the introduction of tough new legislation to prevent fraud as part of the forthcoming Online Safety Bill. To protect consumers from …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "we think a permanent and consistent solution requires legislation"

    Yes it does, otherwise you're counting on a private company to Do What's Right.

    And that has never backfired, now has it ?

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: "we think a permanent and consistent solution requires legislation"

      The thing is, Google is playing a classic game of misbehaving and asking for regulation, to raise the barrier of entry for potential competition.

      Big company can misbehave, because they can afford an army of lawyers or they can happily pay a fine (it is essentially a cost of doing business anyway) and through that put a pressure on legislator.

      At the same time smaller businesses cannot act recklessly because that poses a risk of bankruptcy.

      I think the best course of action would be to apply the biggest fine in history of fines, so that Google would collapse and then use that money to lower the tax burden on citizens and support local business. I am sure there is a new ad / search engine in the works somewhere in Blackpool or Slough.

      We took back control, right?

  2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Double standards (tm)

    That reminds me that I read that you cannot advertise on Google if you run a device repair service.

    Yes, there it is:

    "The following isn't allowed: (...) Technical support for troubleshooting, security, virus removal, internet connectivity, online accounts (for example, password resets or login support), hardware support and repairs or software installation"

    My guess is that Financial Services companies have deeper pockets than repair shops.

    Pecunia non olet, eh?

  3. H in The Hague Silver badge

    Definition of financial services

    I've never advertised through Google, but once looked into it so I'm still on their mailing list. Got an e-mail about this issue today. The restrictions only apply to 'financial services ads' (whether or not regulated by the UK FCA).

    But a lot of what ordinary folk would consider to be financial services are actually outside the scope. I quote:

    "Ads related to the following categories will not be considered financial services for the purposes of this policy, but are still required to comply with all other Google Ads policies:

    • Products in scope of our Debt services policy

    • Products in scope of our Complex speculative financial products policy: contracts for difference, rolling spot forex, financial spread betting. Ads for this category will be able to target UK users seeking financial services as long as they meet the requirements of our Complex speculative financial products policy and complete verification, if requested by Google.

    • Gambling (see our Gambling and Games policy)

    • Products in scope of our Cryptocurrencies, Credit repair, and Binary options policies"

    So still plenty of scope for shysters to advertise.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Joint and several liability …

    … to include all parties in the advertising chain. And that includes storefronts servicing "merchants".

    And no, you may not demand up-front sureties, deposits, bonds etc. from your advertisers.

  5. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

    Oh great...

    Now the FCA has gone all Canute on us. Some things aren't possible, they just make you look stupid. Criminalising people who aren't in this country is utterly pointless.

  6. DevOpsTimothyC Bronze badge

    UK advertiser's only?

    today's announcement "will apply to UK advertisers only."

    Am I the only one asking why that doesn't apply to everyone advertising TO a UK IP address? It's not like Geo IP data hasn't been available for aover a decade

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