Google is banning pornography from appearing in its ad network.
The Mountain View search giant is now prohibiting promotion of most sexually themed sites, specifically those that feature “graphic sexual acts with intent to arouse including sex acts such as masturbation.” The changes took effect Monday, according to CNBC.
According to the network, companies that were going to be in violation of the new policy were notified of the upcoming change in June. It read:
When we make this change, Google will disapprove all ads and sites that are identified as being in violation of our revised policy. Our system identified your account as potentially affected by this policy change. We ask that you make any necessary changes to your ads and sites to comply so that your campaigns can continue to run.
The policy change caught some adult industry companies by surprise, including Theo Sapoutzis, chairman and CEO of AVN Media Network.
“I was one of the very first advertisers for AdWords back in 2002,” Sapoutzis told CNBC. “It’s something that’s been [untouched] for 12 years, so you don’t expect change is going to start happening.”
It’s not clear how the change, which applies to AdWords, will affect the content of search results on Google.
For some Bay Area tech companies, marijuana is also a touchy subject in terms of advertising. Google, Facebook Twitter do not accept ads for cannabis-related businesses, even medical marijuana, and many say it’s hurting the fledgling legal cannabis industry in Colorado.