Google To Ban Housing Ads Targeted To ZIP Codes

As the nation grapples with issues on racial equity, Google has announced that it will no longer allow realtors to target ads for housing based on ZIP code – in addition to several other changes.

The change, announced on Google’s blog, is designed to “improve access to housing, employment and credit opportunities.”

“This policy will prohibit impacted employment, housing, and credit advertisers from targeting or excluding ads based on gender, age, parental status, marital status, or ZIP Code, in addition to our longstanding policies prohibiting personalization based on sensitive categories like race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, national origin or disability,” said Scott Spencer, Google’s vice president of product management, ads privacy and safety.

Spencer said Google will provide more information about the changes in the coming weeks. He said they would be rolled out in the United States and Canada “as soon as possible,” though he couldn’t specify when given the “changing circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic and business continuity issues for many advertisers.”

Google has worked with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on the revised rules.