Google tries to explain

Subject: Re: [#7002486] Your Google AdWords Approval Status
From: Joe Huffman
Date: Wed, February 11, 2004 20:27

Thank you for the clarification on keywords.  That helps a great deal.  I
will abide by your restriction more carefully in the future.

I realize this almost for certain isn’t your personal decision, but I am
perplexed by the restriction.  Your restrictions on firearms sales brings
up a flurry of concerns about the ethics of your company and appears to be
significantly out of step with the majority of Americans.  For example in
a recent Zogby poll
( 79% of
Americans surveyed supported the right of the people to carry concealed
firearms in public.  And all the major candidates for U.S. President agree
individuals have a right to keep and bear arms:

So what is the basis for Google to restrict people from supporting,
through sales of firearms, this constitutionally guaranteed right?  Are
there other Constitutionally guaranteed rights you restrict as well?  I
really don’t see the difference between your restrictions on people
engaged in firearms and ammunition sales and someone trying to defeat
Constitutional protections against slavery.  Do you have restrictions
against selling property to Jews or blacks attending certain schools?
Just what sort of ethical framework does Google use to disapprove keywords
and phrases?

Again, I realize it’s probably not your decision, but I would appreciate
it if you would pass my concerns on to those that do make the decisions.

Thank you.

Joe Huffman
Event Director

AdWords Support said:
> Hello Joe,
> Thank you for your email. I understand that you would like to have more
> guidelines on constructing ads and keywords.
> At this moment, we do not have a public list of specific keywords,
> subject matter, or products that are unacceptable according to our
> policy.
> To clarify the issue of gun-related keywords, keywords that advertise
> guns or similar products, like ‘tactical rifle’ and ‘sniper rifle,’ are
> unacceptable. However, we do allow keywords such as ‘rifle training’ and
> ‘rifle class’ because they are specific keywords that are advertising
> for a service or event, but not actual firearms.
> Please feel free to email us at if you have
> additional questions or concerns.
> We look forward to providing you with the most effective advertising
> available.
> Sincerely,
> Charlene
> The Google AdWords Team
> Original Message Follows:
> ————————
> From: “Joe Huffman” <>
> Subject: Re: [#7002486] Your Google AdWords Approval Status
> Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 20:13:00 -0000 (GMT)
> Do you have a list of these restricted keywords or subject matter that I
> could view?  It would help me to better construct my ad such that I
> avoid the embarrassment of having my keywords disapproved.  I am also
> confused by your statement that ads are not allowed with keywords
> related to guns or similar products but yet you suggest ‘rifle training’
> and ‘rifle class’.  A better understanding of your policy would help to
> save both you and me time and hassle.
> Thank you.
> Joe Huffman
> Event Director
> —-