Google to pause election ads during campaign period

Published December 1, 2021, 2:48 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

All electoral and political advertisements in relation to the May 2022 National and Local polls will be paused across all Google platforms at the start of the campaign period.


In a statement, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Google will not accept election advertisements in the Philippines that are purchased through Google Ads, Display and Video 360, and Shopping platforms that advertisers intend to place: on Google, YouTube, and partner properties.

It cited a statement by Google which says, it 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.” The Calendar of Activities released by the poll body has set the start of the campaign period on February 8, 2022 for national candidates, and on March 25, 2022 for local candidates.

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 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.”

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

In an interview, Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said the initiative of Google will result to the balancing of campaign activities.

“Obviously, if you have more money, then you get more time on the internet. While it’s cheaper than broadcast advertising, it still adds up a lot of money,” he said.

“With this, it will balance the playing field. This will be a big help for everyone,” added Jimenez.