Under the program, Anderson said Chilyo has been able to submit ads for review for a number of Google’s platforms, from paid search to YouTube, but there are some restrictions. Advertisements for CBD can’t use the word “CBD,” for example. Anderson said Google encouraged him to use phrasing such as “full-spectrum hemp” on his all-topical products instead.
But there is confusion over the legality of the hemp derivative: Approved cannabidiol drugs are listed under the Drug Enforcement Administration’s list of controlled substances, even though the 2018 Farm Bill lifted the federal ban on industrial hemp.
Chilyo, which sells cannabidiol items, says participating brands can pay to advertise — but can’t say ‘CBD’ in text
CBD has exploded in the U.S. marketplace: It was valued at $1.9 billion in the United States last year by the cannabis market research firm BDS Analytics and forecast to reach $20 billion by 2024. That figure balloons to $45 billion when combined with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products.
Google is not alone in its strict policies on CBD advertising. Facebook Inc.’s Community Standards don’t mention CBD, but the company doesn’t allow for the sale of marijuana or non-medical drugs, and media reports have said that CBD advertisements have been taken down on the social media network. (Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, shares these policies). Amazon.com Inc. doesn’t allow CBD products on its site.
Google is also heavily monitoring Chilyo’s website, Anderson said, such as watching click-throughs. He declined to say how long the test program would run.
You still wouldn’t be able to use trigger words like “cannabis” on the landing page or URL, however, it would be much easier to rank for this keyword organically with SEO and also bid for it in a Google Ads campaign.
The reason we say “on paper” is that behind closed doors Google is testing and tweaking its policies.
Get cannabis brands more traffic and sales from Google is our specialty. In fact, it’s the only thing we do. We offer cannabis digital marketing services starting at $2,000.
In other words, this means that you can bid for the word “marijuana” but you cannot use it in your ad copy or your website.
The future of advertising cannabis: Will Google and Facebook change their advertising policies for cannabis?
So let’s start by looking at Google’s advertising policy for cannabis, CBD and hemp.
See Google’s full Advertising Policy here.
Google will slap you on the wrist and will move on to disapprove of your ad. If despite the disapproval, you persist in pushing your cannabis ad, Google can decide to suspend your account altogether.
Can you advertise CBD and medical cannabis on Google ads?
The more data they have, the better your ads perform and the lower your cost-per-click (CPC). In the marketing world, this is known as maturing your Facebook pixel or increasing your Google Ads quality score.
Here at Findable Digital Marketing, we work with search engines day in and day out, and we are going to share our expertise on how there is a loophole in Google’s policy that can make Google ads for cannabis possible.