Google to suspend poll, election-related ads in PH during campaign period — Comelec

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GLOBAL search engine giant Google announced it will suspend all electoral and political advertisements in the Philippines in all of its platforms once the campaign period for the national and local elections starts next year.

The Calendar of Activities released by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), showed that the campaign period for national positions will start on February 8, 2022 and March 25, 2022 for local candidates.

In a statement, Comelec cited an earlier statement from the Mountain View, California-based Google, which said it will not accept election advertisements in the Philippines bought through Google Ads, Display and Video 360, and shopping platforms that advertisers intend to place on Google, YouTube, and partner properties.

The Comelec said Google will be “focusing its efforts and resources on upcoming election-related initiatives which aim to help people access useful and accurate information via product features and media literacy program, encourage participation in the voting process, and help protect the integrity of the elections.”

In a statement, the Comelec cited that under the rules and regulations of the Fair Elections Act for the 2022 elections, “political advertisements” or “election propaganda” refer to “any matter broadcasted, published, printed, displayed or exhibited, in any medium, which contains the name, logo, brand, insignia and other symbol or graphic representation that is capable of being associated with a candidate, and is exclusively intended to draw the attention of the public or a segment thereof to promote or oppose, directly or indirectly, the election of said candidate or candidates to a public office… Political advertising includes endorsements, statements, declaration, or information graphics, appearing on any internet website, social network, blogging site, and micro-blogging site, which — when taken as a whole — has for its principal object the endorsement of a candidate only, or which were posted in return for consideration or are otherwise capable of pecuniary estimation.”

The poll body collaborated earlier during the voter registration period with MullenLowe TREYNA and Dashboard Philippines for the site, with the invaluable support of Google, which hosted the website on Google Cloud and promoted it on its social media pages.

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