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Google warned over online drug ads

Google warned over online drug ads

Drugs are bad if you don't have a prescription mm'kay?

Documents shared with the Wall Street Journal indicate that Google was repeatedly warned that many of its advertising partners were illegal online drug stores.

Correspondence dating back to 2003 from the NABP (National Association of Boards of Pharmacy) urged Google to only accept adverts from verified, legal pharmacies.

Later correspondence raised doubts over the legitimacy of advertisers Google was working with. A third letter, from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse requested that Google 'block all advertisements for controlled prescription drugs that do not come from licensed and certified online pharmacies,' and that Google 'screen such sites from Internet searches.'

Federal prosecutors in the USA have been investigating the the search giant's acceptance of advertising from illegal drug sellers, and Google has already set aside a $500m war chest to settle the case.

Whether Google's verification systems for online pharmacies were merely flawed or the company chose to ignore the issue remains unclear, but it seems unlikely that the company will be able to claim ignorance on the matter.

If a case is brought against Google, it's unlikely to be the only search engine in trouble; both Yahoo! and Microsoft used the same, flawed PharmacyChecker verification service. All three switched to NABP's list of verified pharmacies last year.

Have search engines cleaned up their act? Did they turn a blind eye to the online drugs problem for too long? Let us know in the forums.

19 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
SlowMotionSuicide 23rd May 2011, 15:54 Quote
Drugs = Bad.
MiT 23rd May 2011, 15:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowMotionSuicide
Drugs = Bad.

not always true ;)

drugs is another word for medicine "i believe", hence why you have Drug stores and at one airport i was at they had a shop called "Drugs and Books", yeah it was a strange one.

i think:

illegal drugs = bad
jakobfrimmel 23rd May 2011, 16:02 Quote
Not all "illegal drugs are bad....
for example cannabis does more good than harm....
mjm25 23rd May 2011, 16:05 Quote
^i hope you have a nice, flame retardant hemp jacket on sir
Kiytan 23rd May 2011, 16:05 Quote
One thing I have never understood about american drugs companies, is that they copywright a name for the drug, that isn't its scientific name, yet almost always make it sound something very similar. If I had to name a drug, I'd call it wonderfulonium or Amazinium or something.

And yes, I think google just ignored the problem for as long as they could. Nice to see they've changed it
mclean007 23rd May 2011, 16:06 Quote
Drugs are bad, m'kay, but going after Google for linking to the illegal pharmacies rather than hitting the pharmacies themselves is a bit like going after the bit-torrent search engines rather than the seeders. There's some pretty questionable stuff on the internet, and I can't help but wonder if Google (and other search engines) are being a bit hard done by when people expect them to police it. Why should the search engines (who only link to the offending content) be the target, rather than the suppliers themselves, or their webhosts, or the spam botnet operators responsible for all their direct e-mail marketing, or the credit card companies who are processing their payments, or the user's on ISP for letting them access those sites etc.?

With other illegal content online, like explicit images of children (and I realise of course that this is far more extreme, but the point is valid), all of those intermediary "facilitators" have been the target of extraordinary pressure to eliminate the industry, by blocking access to content, reporting users attempting to access it, blacklisting it from search engines, blocking payments for it, etc.
Blademrk 23rd May 2011, 16:20 Quote
Quote:
Drugs are bad, m'kay, but going after Google for linking to the illegal pharmacies rather than hitting the pharmacies themselves is a bit like going after the bit-torrent search engines rather than the seeders.
They're not going after google search, but google ads.
crudbreeder 23rd May 2011, 16:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blademrk
Quote:
Drugs are bad, m'kay, but going after Google for linking to the illegal pharmacies rather than hitting the pharmacies themselves is a bit like going after the bit-torrent search engines rather than the seeders.
They're not going after google search, but google ads.

"...and that Google 'screen such sites from Internet searches.'"
mighty_pirate 23rd May 2011, 17:18 Quote
Google are clearly idiots. You don't put money in a war chest, you put money in a treasure chest, war chests are for axes & crossbows & such.
mucgoo 23rd May 2011, 17:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mighty_pirate
Google are clearly idiots. You don't put money in a war chest, you put money in a treasure chest, war chests are for axes & crossbows & such.

"In business a war chest, or cash mountain is a stash of money set aside to deal with unexpected changes in the business environment, or to use when expansion possibilities arise.[1] The term originates with the medieval practice of having a chest, literally, filled with money to open in time of war."

Wikipedia don't make me find a proper source

It's a fairly common term
mighty_pirate 23rd May 2011, 17:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mucgoo
Quote:
Originally Posted by mighty_pirate
Google are clearly idiots. You don't put money in a war chest, you put money in a treasure chest, war chests are for axes & crossbows & such.

"In business a war chest, or cash mountain is a stash of money set aside to deal with unexpected changes in the business environment, or to use when expansion possibilities arise.[1] The term originates with the medieval practice of having a chest, literally, filled with money to open in time of war."

Wikipedia don't make me find a proper source

It's a fairly common term
You're a fairly common term.
Artanix 23rd May 2011, 17:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mucgoo
Quote:
Originally Posted by mighty_pirate
Google are clearly idiots. You don't put money in a war chest, you put money in a treasure chest, war chests are for axes & crossbows & such.

"In business a war chest, or cash mountain is a stash of money set aside to deal with unexpected changes in the business environment, or to use when expansion possibilities arise.[1] The term originates with the medieval practice of having a chest, literally, filled with money to open in time of war."

Wikipedia don't make me find a proper source

It's a fairly common term

You'll need to look up the term "sarcasm" as well

edit: Damnit Pirate :P
mighty_pirate 23rd May 2011, 18:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artanix
Quote:
Originally Posted by mucgoo
Quote:
Originally Posted by mighty_pirate
Google are clearly idiots. You don't put money in a war chest, you put money in a treasure chest, war chests are for axes & crossbows & such.

"In business a war chest, or cash mountain is a stash of money set aside to deal with unexpected changes in the business environment, or to use when expansion possibilities arise.[1] The term originates with the medieval practice of having a chest, literally, filled with money to open in time of war."

Wikipedia don't make me find a proper source

It's a fairly common term

You'll need to look up the term "sarcasm" as well

edit: Damnit Pirate :P
If it's any consolation your retort was much wittier.
jimmyjj 23rd May 2011, 20:57 Quote
heh, love this place sometimes
Snips 23rd May 2011, 21:26 Quote
Yeah Mighty Pirate is right, you put money in a Treasure Chest! Idiots!
BRAWL 23rd May 2011, 21:26 Quote
haha, that made me lol
alpaca 23rd May 2011, 23:03 Quote
me too:)
MajestiX 24th May 2011, 18:51 Quote
same people that hands out ADHD drugs like candy? seems like they are just trying to get back those lost market share
Ending Credits 24th May 2011, 21:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MajestiX
same people that hands out ADHD drugs like candy? seems like they are just trying to get back those lost market share

To be fair, most regard anyone who hands out candy as fairly suspicious; it's like they have something against pensioners.

Also, can we combine and into one big super smiley, it seems liek it would be quite useful, if only to have something to use as Mankz' signature.
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