A new study has confirmed that fossil fuel companies are buying numerous Google ads. One in five ads listed at the top of climate-related search term results were for companies connected to fossil fuels. The ads are specifically designed to appear like search results, hoodwinking readers into clicking.
The study was carried out by The Guardian. 78 climate-related terms were searched for, with results and associated ads being logged and analysed. The study was carried out in partnership with thinktank, InfluenceMap. More than 1,600 ads, representing one in five, were bought by companies directly involved in fossil fuels or closely connected to them.
Fooling the end-user
Google ads are popular because they have been designed to closely resemble standard search results. With just a small ‘Ad’ written next to them, it is easy to click on a sponsored result without realising. A 2020 study revealed the extent of the deception when it announced that more than 50 percent of users couldn’t differentiate between a Google ad and a search result.
Amongst the top advertisers were ExxonMobil, Shell, and Goldman Sachs. All have a vested interest in garnering positive public opinion about fossil fuel production.
“Google is letting groups with a vested interest in the continued use of fossil fuels pay to influence the resources people receive when they are trying to educate themselves,” Jake Carbone, senior data analyst at InfluenceMap told The Guardian. “The oil and gas sector has moved...
Read Full Story: https://www.greenqueen.com.hk/fossil-fuel-companies-google-ad-hoodwinking/
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