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Yahoo Removes Misleading CPC Ads in Response to Groups' Investigation

Yahoo Removes Misleading CPC Ads in Response to Groups' Investigation

May 12, 2014 — Responding to a request from abortion-rights groups, Yahoo has removed some ads for crisis pregnancy centers from its search results for "abortion clinics," CNET reports.

The move came shortly after Google also pulled ads from the antiabortion-rights centers because an investigation by NARAL Pro-Choice America showed the ads violated the company's policies. NARAL and Ultraviolet petitioned Yahoo to do the same.

The organizations said that when consumers typed "abortion clinics" into Yahoo's search engine, the "majority" of ads that appeared were sponsored by CPCs, which discourage women from having abortions. The ads used vague and misleading language, including ad titles such as "Free Abortion Clinic." NARAL and Ultraviolet pointed out that the ads violated Yahoo's advertising policy, which states that "ad offers and their landing page must be directly relevant to each other." The policy also states that Yahoo reserves the right to remove ads that are "misleading, deceptive, false or untrue."

A Yahoo spokesperson said, "We have found at least some of the ads to be out of compliance with our policies and we are taking them down," and noted that the company will continue to review other ads and "will take similar action if any are found to not be in compliance with our policies" (Kerr, CNET, 5/8).