Why Google Rejected This 'Plus-Size' Ad Targeting Gmail Users

An email from the company defines "plus-size" and "curvy" as "negative physical attributes."

Earlier this week, Google Adwords rejected an ad geared towards Gmail users whose inboxes contained words like "curvy" and/or "plus-size," BuzzFeed (opens in new tab) reports. 

On Jan. 14, online ad agency WordStream (opens in new tab) wrote about Google's rejection of their client's ad in a blog post. The post has since been deleted, but not before BuzzFeed captured a few telling screenshots:

In it, the post's author says the ad was "disapproved for 'body type and personality targeting.'"

A Google customer service rep's explanation, also shared in the blog post, said, "Gmail advertising policy does not permit promotion of products and services that targets individuals with negative physical attributes such as plus size, curvy."

WordStream argued that retailers of plus-size clothing need to use "more specific language than their straight-size counterparts" and that Google's policy puts them "at a disadvantage." It's unknown if these types of ads are actually singled out, as Google apparently bans all body- or personality type-specific advertising.

Google has since altered its language in emails notifying advertisers of its "body-type targeting" policy.

"We have very specific policies on the types of ads we allow in Gmail," a company spokesperson told BuzzzFeed. "The email our team sent to explain this was poorly worded and we've made changes to fix this moving forward."

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