Google updates Healthcare and Medicines Policy for Australian advertisers

Google updates Healthcare and Medicines Policy for Australian advertisers

Google this week announced upcoming changes to its Healthcare and Medicines Policy specifically affecting advertisers in Australia. The updated policy will take effect on May 23, 2024.

Key changes for online pharmacies and telemedicine services

  • Certification Requirements: Google will now require online pharmacies and telemedicine providers advertising in Australia to be certified through LegitScript's Healthcare Merchant Certification Program.
  • Alternative Qualification Options: For online pharmacies, Google will also accept proof of registration with the relevant regulatory authority in specific Australian states and territories, as outlined in the policy update. Pharmacies in Queensland, Northern Territory, and the Australian Capital Territory must be owned or controlled by a registered pharmacist.
  • Restrictions on Prescription Drug Terms: Advertisements targeting Australia cannot contain prescription drug terms within the ad copy or its landing page.
  • Advertiser Certification: All advertisers promoting online pharmacies or telemedicine services in Australia must be certified with Google under the new policy. Details and application procedures can be found on the Google Ads Help Center.
  • Recertification for Existing Advertisers: Advertisers previously certified under the former policy for online pharmacies will need to reapply for certification within 90 days of the policy update.

Grace period and enforcement

Google will provide a 90-day grace period for existing advertisers promoting online pharmacies to comply with the new certification requirements. After this period, advertisers who haven't obtained certification will be ineligible to advertise online pharmacies in Australia.

Violations of the updated policy will not result in immediate account suspension. Advertisers will receive a warning at least seven days before any potential account suspension.

Impact on Australian advertisers

This policy updates aim to ensure responsible advertising practices for online pharmacies and telemedicine services in Australia. The changes require additional steps for advertisers in this sector, including potentially obtaining certification through LegitScript or the relevant regulatory body and ensuring compliance with advertising restrictions on prescription drug terms.

By understanding these changes and taking the necessary actions before the policy goes into effect, Australian advertisers can continue promoting their online pharmacy and telemedicine services while adhering to Google's advertising guidelines.

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