Google Adwords Censors Ad Campaign Critical of President Bush

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Google Adwords restricts controversial website from advertising political playing cards critical of President Bush.

Notice to websites promoting items critical of President Bush: don't expect Google Adwords to approve your internet campaign using their search engine and sponsored links service. In what is believed to be a stunning act of political censorship, the creators of the "Deck of Bush", a satirical playing card deck listing "54 reasons NOT to re-elect the President" were informed Tuesday that their recently submitted ad word campaign did not meet Google's guidelines and was being suspended. In an e-mail sent to the "Deck of Bush" creators, Google stated that their policy "does not permit the advertisement of websites that contain language that advocates against an individual, group, or organization". They were also told that use of the search term keywords "George Bush", "George W. Bush", "President Bush", "Bush Cards", "Bush Decks" were all unacceptable, despite the fact that all words directly related to the political playing cards being sold at:

"Now I know how Howard Stern feels" said co-creator Jerry Vasilatos. "The hypocrisy regarding their definition that they do not permit the advertisement of websites containing "language that advocates against an individual, group, or organization" is completely contradictory, because they are allowing ad campaigns for products and items supportive of President Bush as well as items critical of Senator John Kerry. In addition, if you do a search using any variety of sexual phrases, evidence shows that Google doesn't have a problem running Adword campaigns for websites with sexual content that promote or condone behavior against individuals, including underaged children." Vasilatos has posted screencaps of these examples at:

In a form letter, a Google official made the following statement: "A different set of laws and regulations apply to commercial speech (advertising) than to the search results we show when you do a Google search. As a business, Google must make decisions about where we draw the line in regards to the advertising we accept, both from a legal and company values perspective."

"We made our case requesting an explanation as to why Google allowed other campaigns that violated their definitions above, yet received a typical form-mail response." Vasilatos continues. "How could we possibly promote our website without the use of these keywords to drive traffic to our site when our content is directly related to President Bush? Either there's a flaw in the editorial process or someone at Google doesn't want to drive traffic to our site in a sponsored link we are willing to pay for. We've also submitted our URL several times to Google and our site will not come up while others meeting the same criteria supportive of President Bush and his policies do."

"This isn't the first time our efforts were blocked with our playing cards" Vasilatos says. "We originally couldn't find a company stateside to print our original "Deck of Republican Chickenhawk" playing cards because of their controversial political content, and we were turned away by other marketing companies we approached to help us promote and market our decks. Eventually, Carta Mundi of Tennessee supported our rights to free speech and printed our "Deck of Bush" cards for us. The facts compiled in cards have been a great resource for Democratic, Progressive and Moderate activists to identify why regime change must begin at home this November."

Vasilatos has screencapped the adword campaign at the "Deck of Bush" web site so that people can see for themselves the "objectionable" content for which Google suspended the campaign at: The "House of Cards: Deck of Bush" can be viewed online at More information on this story can also be viewed at:

Media Note: For more information, sample card decks, or to schedule an interview, please contact Jerry Vasilatos at: 323-468-8089.

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Jerry Vasilatos
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