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Ticket ads among billions blocked by Google

Ticket resellers were among the 2.3 billion ads Google blocked in 2018 as it continued to tackle scams, abuse and malware in the online advertising industry.

The technology giant blocked 900 million more ads in 2017, but last year it stepped up its efforts to stop the issue at the source. Google blocked almost one million advertiser accounts in 2018.

In addition, Google unleashed 31 policies to ban specific categories of ads, such as third-party tech support, ticket resellers, cryptocurrency and local services such as garage door repairmen, bail bonds and addiction treatment facilities, Scott Spencer, Google’s director of sustainable ads, said in a blog post.

The firm used both human reviewers and artificial intelligence to riffle through and find bad ads and their sources.

Spencer added: “When we take action at the account level, it helps to address the root cause of bad ads and better protect our users.”

The internet giant, which often places ads in apps and on websites, halted publishers and developers’ revenue. Google “removed ads completely from nearly 1.5 million apps (and) nearly 28 million pages that violated our publisher policies,” Spencer said.

In the UK, secondary ticketing firm Viagogo came under scrutiny by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in October, after a complaint was filed about whether an ad was misleading because it did not make clear that it was a resale website.

However, the UK’s advertising regulator ruled that Viagogo’s Google ad was not misleading consumers.

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