Bing, a subsidiary of Microsoft, will ban advertisements for recreational guns as of 1st July 2018, according to an announcement on its website.
Bing’s decision follows an announcement by Google in May that it will update its “Dangerous products or services” policy in June to prohibit “ads for parts which enhance the function of a gun.”
Google’s policy on “dangerous products or services” will also extend to informational or instructional content “about the assembly, enhancement, or acquisition of items covered by [its] weapons policy.”
Meanwhile, Bing’s policy ban will encompass bb guns, paintball guns and air rifles. It will also extend to “accessories or devices that can be attached to weapons, used to create ammunition, or aid in the reloading process.”
The new policy won’t affect accessories that can’t be attached to a weapon or aid in the reloading process e.g. goggles, earplugs, holsters, etc.
Bing’s policies already prohibit advertisements around firearms and ammunition. It claims that many of the advertisements for recreational guns may give users the impression they are purchasing real firearms. It also states this may have led users “to click on offers that are different to their expectations.”
Many prominent advertisers, including Unilever and Procter & Gamble, have publicly criticized major ad networks and tech organizations in recent months over data privacy and the nature of content published on their platforms
Other brands that suspended ads include Mozilla, Sonos and Commerzbank.
Meanwhile, Google and Facebook have both recently banned cryptocurrency adverts from their platforms. Google’s decision was announced in March of this year but won’t come into force until June. The will apply to both to its search and display network.
The two tech giants have also recently announced verification measures for political advertisers. Google’s verification process opened on 31st May and will ensure most political ads are accompanied by a “paid for by” disclosure. Meanwhile, Facebook’s verification process went live on 23rd Apil and will only initially apply to US advertisers.