Google rolls out Ad Transparency Center
At a Glance...
Google has rolled out the Ad Transparency Center, providing advertisers with greater visibility over competitor ad activity…
What ads is your competitor running? Are they pushing a particular product through Display? Promoting an event or a specific line through YouTube? What offers are currently up? Until recently, short of searching for the brand name on Google and being served an ad, there was very little way of knowing these answers.
But now, Google has rolled out Ad Transparency Center, which offers answers to some of these questions!
The new feature can be accessed through the three dots present next to an ad in the Google ecosystem (GDN, Search, YouTube, Search Partners Network…). If the advertiser is verified, this menu, the ‘My Ad Center’, offers a “See more ads” link, which takes users to the Ad Transparency Centre. Alternatively, the centre can be accessed directly through this link.
Access the ‘My Ad Center’ through the 3 dots next to an ad Display URL
If the Advertiser is verified, you’ll have the option to see all the current ads of the advertiser, as well as all the ads served since Google first ran their advertiser verification program, in Q2 2018. The ads can be filtered by date range, region, and format.
The feature is aimed at the general public more than advertisers. It is intended as a tool for the consumer to learn more about the ads they see across the Google network, how they are targeted by advertisers, and what other ads the advertiser is running in which formats. It is a continuation of Google’s effort to be more transparent about its advertising practices started with the ‘My Ad Center’, and, like the ‘My Ad Center, it also allows consumers to report or block ads they feel are inappropriate.
‘My Ad Center’ is a feature that Google launched in October last year to give consumer a greater control over the ads they see. It offers the opportunity to select the brands and topics one might be interested in, or others that they do not want to be targeted with, overall improving what Google refers to as “Ad Experience”.
As advertisers, the Ad Transparency Center offers great insights into competitors’ activity. Knowing what promotion competing brands are running, what product their videos or image ads push, or how they are choosing to use their sitelinks can help one react to the ever-changing landscape that is digital marketing. Through five years’ worth of ad evolution – depending on the advertiser’s date of verification – this also opens up the opportunity to analyse how the messaging of a brand has evolved, how their offer has changed over time, or scope out when their next sale might be.
This latest feature is available to everybody and is free to use. So, it’s best to consider that everybody else has already started using it, and to start using it yourself!
Pierre Daudré-Vignier, Senior Performance Manager