May 7, 2019
RMEF Lauds Congressional Reps for Rectifying Google Snafu
MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) would like to thank Representative Greg Gianforte (R-MT) and Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) for taking swift action to rectify an issue with Google Ads.
“We greatly appreciate the immediate actions of Representative Gianforte and Senator Daines,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “As Montanans and sportsmen, they understand, value and cherish our hunting heritage as well as RMEF’s conservation mission. Without their quick and effective response, our ability to promote ethical hunting and vital conservation work would be hindered.”
RMEF recently sought to apply paid advertising behind a short hunting video in the form of a Google ad, as it has done scores of times in the past. Instead of approval, RMEF received an email stating “any promotions about hunting practices, even when they are intended as a healthy method of population control and/or conservation, is considered as animal cruelty and deemed inappropriate to be shown on our network.”
RMEF reached out to the Montana delegation for help with the issue the morning of May 3. Representative Gianforte and Senator Daines immediately called RMEF for details and issued a letter that afternoon calling on Google to reverse the prohibitions and reexamine its policy interpretations. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) also made a call on RMEF’s behalf to Google that afternoon.
To Google’s credit, it quickly reviewed the issue and reached out to RMEF stating it was an oversight that had been corrected and RMEF may continue to advertise as it has in the past.
“Google Ads represent an important tool that we use to increase engagement in messaging,” said Steve Decker, vice president of Marketing. “It allows us to disseminate information to a broader relevant audience about ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.”
The issue was reported by the Associated Press and dozens of media outlets around the nation.