- The Washington Times - Friday, April 3, 2020

The coronavirus ad wars are coming to Google and President Trump’s political opponents are rejoicing.

Google previously announced a ban on coronavirus-related ads aimed at thwarting those hawking much-needed medical equipment such as masks. A Google spokesperson said the initial ban was intentionally broad under the company’s sensitive events policy to prevent people from exploiting the coronavirus crisis for personal gain.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak’s spread in the U.S., the Google spokesperson said the company is adjusting its enforcement to adapt to the changing times.

“Now, we are looking at ways to support limited COVID-19-related ads from hospitals, medical providers, government entities, and NGOs,” the Google spokesperson said. “We also realize that COVID-19 is becoming an important part of everyday conversation, including a relevant topic in political discourse and for many advertisers in different sectors, and we’re planning to allow more advertisers to run ads related to COVID-19 as soon as we’re able to do so safely.”

The additional advertisers permitted to run coronavirus ads in the coming days will include political organizations.

Sen. Chris Murphy, Connecticut Democrat, tweeted Thursday that his office had worked with Google to change its approach to coronavirus-related advertising to allow for political advertisers to enter the fray.

“Campaigns will soon be allowed to run advertisements [on Google] about Trump’s coronavirus response,” Mr. Murphy tweeted. “Free speech wins. For now.”

As Mr. Murphy has been focused on ensuring political advertisers have the ability to criticize Mr. Trump, progressive anti-Trump activists have ramped up their coronavirus-related advertising.

Pacronym, a liberal nonprofit, has pledged to spend $75 million against Mr. Trump’s reelection and $5 million on digital ads slamming the president’s response to the coronavirus crisis. Protect Our Care, a progressive group dedicated to preserving Obamacare, is running 30-second attack ads aimed at Mr. Trump’s coronavirus response on televisions in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.




• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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