It’s been a while since my last post. I have been really busy. But if you haven’t already heard Google have now updated their ad policy for hard alcohol and liquer targeting the U.S. I am told the UK will follow suit in the coming weeks.

Google had already quietly changed their policy at the end of October allowing PPC ads for beer. However according to the Inside Adwords blog the new rules are for promotion and branding rather than direct sale which are still not allowed –

To comply with the updated hard alcohol and liqueurs policy, advertisers must promote the information about hard alcohol and liqueurs that their websites contain, such as recipes and brand messages. Ads that directly promote the sale of hard alcohol and liqueurs are still not permissible through our program. In contrast, advertisements for beer may directly promote its sale.

The news comes after Google firstly removed their keyword trademark policy in the UK and then permitted advertising for online gambling in the UK, Italy, France and Spain.

Obviously only the cynics would correlate this with an attempt to subdue the effects of the current economic climate, Googles subsequent fall in share price and predicted fall in ad spend for 2009 where 97% of Googles revenue is still driven from. Although it is certainly good to see Google making decisions on a local level meaning big opportunities have opened up for those businesses (and in turn search marketing agencies) in these industries.