March 3, (Reuters): Google (GOOGL.O) of Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) announced on Thursday that it had stopped selling internet advertising in Russia, a restriction that applies to search, YouTube, and third-party publishers.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the world’s biggest seller of online ads by revenue, Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) and Snap Inc (SNAP.N) took similar pauses in Russia.
“We’re stopping Google ads in Russia due to unprecedented circumstances,” the company said in a statement. “The situation is rapidly changing, and we will continue to provide updates as needed.”
Google had previously prohibited Russian state-funded media from using its technology to acquire or sell ads. It had also cited its sensitive events policy, which prohibits marketing that aims to profit from the war, with the exception of anti-war or protest advertisements.
On Monday, Russia’s communications regulator, Roskomnadzor, ordered Google to stop running ads that contained false information regarding Russian military and civilian losses in Ukraine.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the regulator instructed Google on Thursday to stop distributing YouTube ads with “false political information” about Ukraine in order to “misinform the Russian public” about current events.
In the past, Moscow has punished or blocked access to services that do not comply with its demands.
Last year, Google was fined more than 32 million roubles for content offences.
According to the SPARK business database, Google’s turnover in Russia in 2020 will be 85.5 billion roubles ($790 million).