Environmentalists and advocates alike are up in arms over Google‘s recent advertisements promoting products made from endangered elephants and whales. The Environmental Investigation Agency has written to Google CEO Larry Page asking the company to remove around 11,500 advertisements dealing with the promotion of these products on Google’s Japan Shopping site.
The EIA says that Google “has laudable policies that prohibit the promotion of endangered wildlife products including whale, dolphin and elephant ivory,” but the agency says that these policies “are not being enforced and that’s devastating for whales and elephants.” The EIA is unsurprisingly shocked by this discovery.
However, Google says that advertisements for these types of products are not allowed on their various sites, and a Google spokesperson said that as soon as they detect ads that violate the company’s advertising policies, they are removed immediately, but it seems the EIA and other activists aren’t satisfied just yet.
Most of the elephant ivory ads showing up on Google are for “hanko” Japanese name seals, which are high in demand. Other products being advertised on the Google Japan Shopping site include products made from various kinds of whale species. It turns out that poaching claims the lives of as many as 30,000 African elephants every year. At this point, Google hasn’t mentioned what they’ll do with the ads, but our guess is that they’re working to remove them as quickly as possible.
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