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Google again comes under fire for advertising illegal prescription drugs

Dan Graziano
July 5th, 2013 at 12:25 PM
Google Criticism YouTube Ads

The attorney generals of Nebraska and Oklahoma on Tuesday blasted Google for selling Internet advertisements for illegal pharmacies that sell counterfeit drugs. Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt questioned the company’s practice of placing advertisements for illegal products before some YouTube videos. Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood criticized Google last month for allowing these illegal online pharmacies to continue to advertise on its network, adding that the company must do a better job of banning them.

“(We) work to prevent ads appearing against any video, channel or page once we determine that the content is not appropriate for our advertising partners,” A Google spokesperson said in a statement to Reuters.

Bruning and Pruitt pointed out that YouTube is also home to videos that advertise how to forge passwords and drivers licenses. Google previously said that in the past two years, the company has removed more than 3 million ads for illegal pharmacies.

“Not only are the activities depicted or promoted in the above-described videos illegal in and of themselves, but in the case of document forgery, the how-to guide could be instrumental in the commission of other crimes ranging from under-age drinking to acts of terrorism,” Bruning and Pruitt wrote in a letter to Google.

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