Twitter Lifts Ban on Coronavirus Mentions in Ads
Last week, Twitter announced it was lifting its ban on coronavirus mentions in advertisements under certain circumstances. This decision comes right after Google’s announcement that it was lifting its ban as well.
Commenting on the ban lift, Krista Thomas, SVP of Marketing at Amobee stated:
"... This move from Twitter acknowledges the fact that brands can be reassuring and hopeful forces for consumers and in our culture. Paid tweets surrounding the pandemic should focus on providing educational resources and highlighting programs that deliver aid and support for the public during this time of anxiety and need."
Axios reported on April 2 that Google would start to allow some advertisers to run ads that address COVID-19 across its platforms. Previously, the broad ban had halted consumer advertisers — such as packaged good companies and retailers — as well as nonprofits from running messaging with coronavirus mentions.
According to a blog post from Alex Josephson, Global Head of Twitter Next, and Eimear Lambe, Director of Twitter Next, there have been millions of tweets and retweets referencing the pandemic globally. They share:
We are seeing a COVID-19 related Tweet every 45 milliseconds and #Coronavirus is now the second most used hashtag of 2020. These volumes reflect the huge appetite for seeing and sharing news and information related to this virus as it unfolds.
To assist marketers who are navigating COVID-19, as well as anyone else who simply wants to stay informed about what the social media platform is doing in regard to the pandemic, Twitter has created an extensive landing page on its blog where all of its COVID-19 information can be reviewed.
The Rules of the Ban Lift on Coronavirus Mentions in Paid Ads
According to the blog post, brands and nonprofits advertising on Twitter will now be allowed to either implicitly or explicitly include coronavirus mentions in campaigns in the following:
- Ads that share adjustments to business practices and/or models in response to the pandemic;
- Ads sharing support for customers and employees.
The ban is still in place for the following kinds of content, in an effort to limit the spread of misinformation:
- Sensational content/content that is likely to incite panic
- Distasteful references to the coronavirus
- Promotion of some products related to the pandemic. For example, Twitter currently prohibits ads for alcohol hand sanitizers and face masks.
Twitter also shared that “mention of vaccines, treatments and test kits is permitted, only in the form of information, from news publishers which have been exempted under the Political Ads Content policy.” But for marketers, this area in general is pretty much off-limits.
While the ban has been lifted, marketers still need to ensure their paid ads are in line with Twitter's rules, but more importantly, that any coronavirus mentions are relevant to their audience and appropriate. Clickagy's Founder and CEO, Harry Maugans commented:
“Marketing is evolving faster than it ever has before. The best way to connect with an audience in today's market is to be real and genuine, and no marketer should be scared to connect with consumers over one of the biggest stories of the decade. I'm not suggesting they act in poor form and capitalize on a tragedy, but rather they should connect with their customers and let them know that they are heard and valued through this tough time. Now is not a time to sell products, as much as it's a time to band together and overcome this shared adversary. I'm glad Twitter dropped this restriction, because it lets companies rebuild that bridge of trust with their consumers during a wildly turbulent time.”
Marketers, do you have any plans to include coronavirus mentions in your advertisements across Twitter and/or Google? Let us know in the comments below.