Google Addresses Ad Glitch by Giving Credits

Google Addresses Ad Glitch by Giving Credits

News by Roberto Orosa
Published: February 16, 2024

Google has pledged to credit advertisers affected by an ad glitch that occured during campaigns from July through December of last year. 

Several advertising agencies have been notified regarding a "technical issue" which occurred within Display and Video 360, Google's demand-side platform used by agencies and brands for programmatic ad campaigns.

Because of this, affected advertisers will receive compensation for the overcharges in the form of credits, as per Google's email notification sent Thursday.

"Some customers were overcharged for a subset of impressions served via Display & Video 360," it wrote, adding that the "issue has been resolved."

Advertisers Speak Out

Although Google has not provided immediate comments, multiple advertisers have brought the issue to the attention of Ad Age. However, the exact amount owed in credits and the scope of affected advertisers remain undisclosed.

One advertiser, speaking anonymously, mentioned receiving automated emails without any direct communication from ad sales representatives.

Instructing advertisers to reach out to Google sales teams for further clarification, the memo indicates the common occurrence of billing errors and malfunctions in the realm of ad tech platforms.

Could It Be Because of the Layoffs?

The recent ad issue from Google comes after a recent restructuring within its advertising organization.

In January, Google downsized parts of its ad team, reducing staff within its large-customer sales and customer solutions, which primarily cater to major enterprise clients.

Furthermore, Google expressed intentions to bolster its "global customer solutions" team, which services millions of smaller clients and businesses.

During a fourth-quarter earnings call in January, Philipp Schindler, Google's senior VP and chief business officer, addressed the restructuring of the advertising sales force.

"The [global customer solutions] is really then scaling growth by dynamically delivering really the right treatment for every customer,” he noted.

Google's Privacy Sandbox Faces Scrutiny

Google's Privacy Sandbox is facing scrutiny from non-profit IAB Tech Lab, highlighting concerns about its ability to uphold privacy standards while replacing third-party cookies in ad tech operations.

The Privacy Sandbox team responded to criticisms, asserting its commitment to privacy and addressing technical challenges raised by the IAB Tech Lab's recent report.

Victor Wong, senior director of product at Google's Privacy Sandbox, fired back that certain suggestions by the IAB Tech Lab could "basically recreate cross-site tracking and go against privacy-preserving goals."

Google's initiative aims to curtail cross-site tracking, a practice that allows advertisers to monitor user behavior across different websites.

The impending demise of third-party cookies on Chrome prompted Google to set a deadline for the end of the year to transition to the Privacy Sandbox.

What Lies Ahead for Google's Privacy Sandbox

Challenges have arisen as Privacy Sandbox introduced complexities to the internet ad market, particularly for publishers and advertisers accustomed to existing ad formats and tracking mechanisms.

Anthony Katsur, CEO of IAB Tech Lab, emphasized the need for collaborative efforts to address the industry's diverse needs amidst these changes.

"Our findings highlight that the industry isn’t ready yet and identify multiple challenges to implementation due to limitations in accomplishing key advertising objectives," Katsur explained.

Despite differences in approach, both Google and IAB Tech Lab acknowledge the importance of ongoing dialogue and testing to refine Privacy Sandbox's functionalities.

Editing by Katherine 'Makkie' Maclang

Subscribe to Spotlight Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest industry news