Google is temporarily halting advertisements worldwide for addiction and rehabilitation centers, following a report last week showing it was acting as a platform for shady referral services earning huge undisclosed commissions.
Essentially these ads, which commanded huge prices on Google’s networks, would show for people seeking addiction treatment; the help lines and services listed would then refer the person to an addiction center. These centers were, unknown to their new patients, paying enormous finders fees to the referral services, on the order of tens of thousands of dollars.
The company announced the decision to ban this practice globally in a statement issued to TechCrunch:
Substance abuse is a growing crisis and even as we’ve helped healthcare providers connect with…