AdRoll Cuts Ties With Infowars, But Google’s YouTube Still Driving Revenue For Alex Jones
Research ››› ››› KATIE SULLIVAN
Conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones claimed that his site, Infowars, was “knocked off of Google Ads” by a Google “subsidiary.” But the advertising company that cut ties with Infowars, AdRoll, is not a Google subsidiary, and Google does in fact place ads on Infowars’ YouTube video pages, generating revenue for Jones’ site. In suspending Infowars, AdRoll cited violations of its policies, which require that content be accurate and verifiable and that content about political campaigns focus on the merits of a candidate, rather than being “derogatory.”
Alex Jones Claimed A Google Advertising "Subsidiary" Cut Ties With Infowars To Censor “Political Speech”
Alex Jones: “Infowars Got Knocked Off Of Google Ads Through AdRoll, Their Subsidiary Company They Work With.” Conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones claimed that his website “Infowars got knocked off of Google Ads through AdRoll, their subsidiary company they work with,” because “they said ... you criticize Obama and the Democrats and the UN and climate change, you’re not real, we’re banning you.” From the March 19 edition of The Alex Jones Show:
ALEX JONES (HOST): I have several clips I want to play, but before we do that, the crew’s pointing this out. Infowars got knocked off of Google Ads through Ad Roll, their subsidiary company they work with. And they said, because you criticize Obama and the Democrats and the UN and climate change, you’re not real, we’re banning you. They said the president isn’t real, they’re trying to ban him, they said he’s not legitimate. And so they took – that ad program, strangely enough, was just about all the extra money we had to budget for expansion in 2017. $3.3 million, we’ve been doing it three years, it was very successful. It would be $5 million or more this year. But that sounds like a lot of money. When you’ve got 60-something employees, and bandwidth, and expenses, and legal – and let me tell you something, that’s not a lot of money. We have a lot of other ways to fund ourselves, but that was just getting us there. And it’s funny what they blew away -- and all these leftist groups boycotting us and going after our sponsors -- what they blew away was the extra money. So now we’re in a position of not even having the money to go forward, and then they’re hitting us with other stuff behind the scenes. Because they know we’re hurting them, they know we’re real, they know we’ll tell the truth, they know we’re fearless. They know we want justice. They know we’re not stopping. They know we’re Americans, bitter clingers who want unity and prosperity and freedom in this country. The globalists don’t want that. Their own WikiLeaks show that. They want total monopoly of power -- that’s called dictatorship. [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 3/19/17]
Infowars: Online Advertiser AdRoll “Cutting Ties With Infowars.com In An Apparent, Concentrated Effort To Shut Down Political Speech By Conservatives And Libertarians Online.” According to a February 21 Infowars post, “AdRoll, the online advertiser that accused Breitbart of ‘hate speech,’ is now abruptly cutting ties with Infowars.com in an apparent, concentrated effort to shut down political speech by conservatives and libertarians online.” The post included an image of the letter sent by AdRoll to Infowars’ legal department, which explained that AdRoll had “suspended the campaigns” for Infowars because the content on Jones’ site violated its policies and the policies of its partner ad networks. The post did not directly blame Google, but did note, “It’s also not surprising that AdRoll is partnered with Facebook and Google, two tech titans behind the technotronic takeover – and the ‘war against fake news’ intended to shut down alternative press critical of globalism such as Infowars and Breitbart.” From the February 21 post (emphasis original):
AdRoll, the online advertiser that accused Breitbart of “hate speech,” is now abruptly cutting ties with Infowars.com in an apparent, concentrated effort to shut down political speech by conservatives and libertarians online.
The advertiser sent a vaguely-worded email to the Infowars legal department saying it was ending its ad campaign in part because “all political content should focus on the merits of the candidate,” implying that corrupt, establishment candidates such as Hillary Clinton should be showered with praise and her scandals ignored.
This seems to contradict another statement in the same email in which AdRoll claims “all content on your website should be relevant, accurate, informative, and up to date;” if a news web site is to focus on only the “merits” of a political candidate and not the controversies, how is that accurate?
Will AdRoll likewise ban ads from appearing on mainstream media sites that constantly attack President Trump?
Here’s the email in full:
AdRoll, Which Is Not A Subsidiary Of Google, Cut Ties With Infowars For Policy Violations
AdRoll Requires That Its Clients’ Websites Contain Accurate Content And That They Not Contain “Derogatory” Content About Political Candidates. AdRoll’s website standards for its advertiser clients state, “Your website must be able to stand by its claims,” and, “All content on your website should be relevant, accurate, informative, and up to date. Any claims should be easily verifiable.” In its additional guidelines, AdRoll states that websites using its software “can promote political campaigns” as long as they do not include “derogatory content” and “focus on the merits of the candidate.” [AdRoll, accessed 3/20/17, 3/20/17]
AdRoll Is Not A Subsidiary Of Google -- In Fact It’s a Competitor -- But It Does Use Some Google Products. AdRoll is an advertising network and agency that connects its clients’ ads with other advertising networks and exchanges so that the ads will appear on other sites. AdRoll is not a subsidiary of Google -- in fact, AdRoll’s CEO has described Google’s advertising services as a competitor -- but it does use some Google products such as DoubleClick and Google Tag Manager. [AdRoll, accessed, 3/21/17, 3/21/17, 3/21/17; TechCrunch, 6/21/16]
Google Continues To Place Ads On Jones’ YouTube Video Pages, Generating Revenue For Infowars
Google Continues To Place Ads On Jones’ YouTube Video Pages.
The Guardian: Ads On Extremist YouTube Video Pages “Help Fund Payments To The People Who Post The Videos.” In an article detailing the backlash from major European countries and the British government to ads on YouTube appearing next to extremist content, The Guardian noted that ads that appear attached to YouTube videos “help fund payments to the people who post the videos, with every 1,000 clicks worth about £6,” or approximately $7.50. The Guardian itself “is among the organisations to have withdrawn its advertising” from appearing “alongside extremist material.” [The Guardian, 3/19/17]