Google sues 'rogue pharmacies'

Patience with ad blocking 'cat-and-mouse game' exhausted
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Patience with ad blocking 'cat-and-mouse game' exhausted

Google has filed a civil lawsuit in the US federal court against advertisers which it claims have broken fake pharmaceutical rules.

Announcing the action on the Official Google Blog, litigation council Michael Zwibelman said that the company had experienced an increase in the number of rogue pharmacies and increasing levels of sophistication in circumventing the firm's veritification and automatic keyword blocking mechanisms.

"We work very hard to make sure that ads shown on Google provide useful information for our users," wrote Zwibelman. "But sometimes we need to take action against ads that violate our policies ... this is especially true when it comes to advertising for products such as pharmaceuticals, which can be dangerous without the right prescription."

Zwibelman said that despite the firm's best efforts a small number of pharma ads from so-called "rogue companies" continued to appear on Google and that the firm continued to identify additional "bad actors", the company would add them to the litagation suit.

"Rogue pharmacies are bad for our users, for legitimate online pharmacies and for the entire e-commerce industry—so we are going to keep investing time and money to stop these kinds of harmful practices."