New Google policy to reveal political ad-spend in India

In the run-up to 2019 general elections, tech titan Google Tuesday said it will create information on political advertisements on its platform public, giving details like who is purchasing election ads and the money spent.

“To bring more transparency to the online election ads, Google will set up an India-specific Political Advertising Transparency Report and searchable Political Ads Library. These will give comprehensive information about who is purchasing election ads on Google platforms and how much money is being spent,” Google said in a statement.

The India Political Ads Transparency Report and Ads Library will go live in March 2019, it added.

Google’s initiative is focused at bringing “openness to election advertising online and enabling voters to get the election-related information they need”.

The move comes at a time when digital platforms have come under pressure to bring transparency into political ads, and are facing high scrutiny in large markets that are headed for elections.

Last month, Facebook had stated it will make it compulsory for advertisers to disclose their identity and location before any such advertisement material can be run on the popular social media platform and Instagram.