Google has come under fire after allegedly refusing to let a clothing company to advertise to “curvy or plus-size” people, according to a news report.
Normally, Google lets advertisers show their messages to people who use certain words in their emails using its AdWords system.
But it has now emerged that the search engine will not let firms target individuals based on their body type.
Google this week issued a note to media buyers using its AdWords platform telling them they can no longer hone their campaigns using the term “curvy” and, or “plus-size.”
Buzzfeed reports that Google this week rejected one clothing company’s Gmail ad because it was targeted at people whose Gmail correspondence contained the words “curvy” and/or “plus-size.”
The initial report contains quotes ad agency WordStream in Google’s alleged disapproval of a client’s Gmail ad from a blog post dated 14 January (which has since been removed).
In the post, it alleges that an AdWords customer service representative rejected the ad under the company’s “body-type and personality-type targeting” rules. The rep called “plus-size” and “curvy” “negative physical attributes”.
According to WordStream’s Elisa Gabbert such a policy disadvantages “plus-size advertisers” as appealing to such an audience requires them to use more specific language than their straight-size counterparts.
A Google spokesperson told BuzzFeed that they have adjusted the language used in AdWords emails enforcing their “body-type targeting” policy.
“We have very specific policies on the types of ads we allow in Gmail,” said the spokesperson. “The email our team sent to explain this was poorly worded and we’ve made changes to fix this moving forward.”