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Gianforte, Daines call for Google to soften stance on hunting ads – and the tech giant backs down

Posted at 9:07 PM, May 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-04 00:23:06-04

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Congressman Greg Gianforte and Sen. Steve Daines of Montana are urging tech giant Google to reverse what they call a ban on hunting advertising.

The two Montana Republicans were responding to a message received by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, a Missoula-based pro-hunting group, denying their Google ad because of animal cruelty, according to a document provided by Daines’ office.

In the message from a Google representative, the ad was denied because “any promotions about hunting practices, even when they are intended as a healthy method of population control and/ or conservation, are considered animal cruelty and deemed inappropriate to be shown on our network.”

A Google spokesperson said Friday the company had made a mistake in denying the ad, and it’s now approved to run.

The lawmakers did not provide a description of the proposed ad.

Daines and Gianforte wrote in a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai that they are lifelong hunters who value Montana rich hunting culture.

“We therefore demand you reverse these prohibitions and request that Google reexamine their policy interpretations on prohibiting hunting promotions,” the letter states. “We also request a meeting to discuss the importance of Montana’s and the United States’ hunting heritage.”

The Google spokesperson said no policy bans hunting advertising.

“Google doesn’t have a policy prohibiting hunting ads. We do have a policy against ads that promote animal cruelty or feature gratuitous violence towards animals. In this case, we made a mistake and the ad is now approved to run. We always encourage advertisers to appeal if they feel that an ad was wrongly disapproved — this helps us improve our systems and processes,” the spokesperson said.