Google’s elephant in the room

5 March 2013

Google ads are usually pretty annoying, like ‘Check out this 1 weird old tip to get rid of belly fat!!’ But a conservation group has now accused Google of encouraging the sale of IVORY, thanks to ads on its Japanese shopping site.

Apparently there are over 10,000 ads for ‘hanko’, which are carved wooden stamps inlaid with ivory. The stamps are sold legally in Japan, and are used to sign important documents, but their manufacture has a devastating effect on African elephant populations.

Google told the Associated Press that: "Ads for products obtained from endangered or threatened species are not allowed on Google. As soon as we detect ads that violate our advertising policies, we remove them."

But The Environmental Investigation Agency say that they wrote a letter (presumably unstamped) to Google boss Larry Page demanding that the ads be taken down, but had had no response.

Let’s hope Google will sort this out during their morning brainstorming air hockey session in the Idea Pod - before any more elephants bite the dust.

TOPICS:   Technology   Advertising

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