An Open Letter to Google Ads…

Dear Google,

I'll take you down before you place ads FOR discrimination on my blog.

Since I'm no longer in California, I personally couldn't tell if you were running ads for YES on PROP 8, the measure to amend the California State Constitution to BAN same sex marriages. It wasn't until I was hearing from various blogs like Style Bite, Well Shod, Well Informed and Kalyn's Kitchen and confirmed by KateConsumption and other people on Twitter… that you were running these ads in California. Then I got this letter:

Hi lady,

I just discovered huge “YES ON PROP 8” banners on my site, through google ads. Every ad was devoted to this. I am livid. I thought maybe you could let the word out if possible, so other bloggers aren't promoting prop 8 unintentionally through google ads.

This has gone too far… just because these people have money, doesn't mean you should run their ads on  blogs without permission. Personally, I am in such disagreement with Prop 8 there is no way on earth I would ever allow this ad to run on my page. It's clearly discrimination against homosexuals, a step backward for human rights, and an obvious measure by religious ideologues trying to run my life and the lives of others.

I'm not saying you shouldn't take ads from people who support Prop 8… if you don't believe homosexuals have the right to marriage, that's your opinion. But do not assume that I would be ok with you placing these ads on MY website. Maybe you should work out some kind of approval stage for controversial ads, instead of the ‘blocking' system you have in place.

Until you work out a more respectful system:

I have taken all adsense ads off my blog for election day, and I will encourage all those who do not believe in discrimination to take down their adsense ads, or if they do not want Prop 8 ads to run in California.

Because I say NO to Prop 8.

Kind regards,


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16 Responses

  1. Ashe Mischief

    This is completely amazing. It contradicts the whole process of how Google Adsense is supposed to work! On a non-political blog, whether based in California or not, there shouldn’t be political ads unless they are related to the content (ie. it made sense to see a Michelle Obama ad on my site, since I did a post on her). This is completely appalling.

  2. Mai

    I was freakin’ out when I saw the Yes on Prop 8 ads on fashionist, especially since I’ve been volunteering/phone banking for No on Prop 8. Unfortunately this legislation isn’t considered hate in the US and ad buys aren’t necessarily targeted by words, topic. They can be, but if you have loads of money you can ask to buy up any available ad stock. Including the ones on our fashion sites, I’ve suspended my Google ads until later this week, when those ads will be gone.

    Google lets you opt-out of some ads (e.g. Pharmaceuticals), but they don’t have a designation for political ads. They really need to have that opt-out available.

  3. Jennine

    oh my god you must have been mortified. especially as a san franciscan resident (as was stylebite)

    yeah, i’ve heard about the opting out… but my concern was about all the people who are not in california, and dont know about prop 8…. and don’t know that these ads are running on their site… like imelda mat of well shod/ well informed… he’s australian (so he didn’t know about prop 8 until recently), and openly gay (and opposed) and they placed the ads on his site for all the californians to see.


  4. Marie

    After seeing yes on 8 ads pop up on my myspace I got all freaked out those would pop up on my own site. I haven’t seen anything yet but I will be disabling ads today. I am in southern CA so I especially feel strongly about this, especially since I just wrote a No on 8 blog. I would be HULK status angry if it popped up. Thank you SO MUCH for writing about it!!

  5. Annie

    I cannot tell you how many such posts I read yesterday and today. It’s so infuriating! Who’s running the show over at Google? Oddly enough, Google is “No on 8” as a corporation, so then why these ads? It’s a dirty trick, I think.

    My Google AdSense just had a PSA encouraging people to go vote, but I would have been mortified if this had happened. It’s really gross that Google (whom we all trust for solid, thoughtful ad content) would let this slip by…

  6. Christina

    Thank you greatly for posting this Jennine! Hopefully enough bloggers have taken these ads down before too many people read them. I don’t know what makes me more upset: the fact that Google Ads ran these political ads without our consent, or, that they posted these ads, ALL OVER every ad section. I have google ads in three separate sections and this ran on all three. It was a hostile take-over. Keeping my fingers crossed for tonight.

    Thanks again, you’re the best!!


  7. meli

    YES!!!!! absolutely crazy. A pal pointed it out to me. Political ads on blogs gone wrong. GRRR!!
    I also took (them) down, just the big lie on ‘everything related to your blog’ didn’t apply to this. Im sure when it came to propositions they paid whatever to get their paws on blogs, lame. Powerless I felt, and I also took the ads OUT.
    Thanks for posting this <3 -I agree each person should have their opinion but not their blog pested with HUGE banners, I ditto Christina-


    -let freedom ring-
    xo/ meli (voted today!!!)

  8. Jennine

    christina, THANK YOU for alerting me to this….it’s crazy…

    i agree with both christina and meli about the right to opinion… it’s just that it’s such a strong statement to just go a blog without permission.

  9. lopi

    That’s just infuriating! I am not even american, but I still find this completely insulting. I hope the google headquarters will reason up and solve this.

  10. Glendy

    OMG, I hate when someone or some companies, including people running racist ads spread their messages on our Blogs, I also use Google ad sense and I would be fuming if I would see something like this. I went through something similar with a fashion company who attacked me on my blog for not mentioning their financial status in a manner THEY would like. I am glad you wrote this, all fashion indie bloggers should speak out and refuse to show such ads and not kiss corporate butts, our blogs reflect us and our freedom of speech.