Suspended for Mentioning a Word on a Secret Google List

True story:

 

My Google Merchant Center account was just suspended.

 

Why?

 

For carrying two particular products:

 

Nutrex Hawaii MD Formula BioAstin Supreme – 60 Capsules (lycopene); and

Natures Formulary Guggul – 60 Capsules (guggul)

 

These substances are not listed on Google’s list of unapproved pharmaceuticals and supplements so I called Google AdWords support to find out what the reason for the suspension was. After some investigation, the rep told me that the products contained ingredients, lycopene and guggul, which were on an internal, non-public list of prohibited substances. The rep agreed that it was unclear how I was supposed to know that these substances were prohibited. Furthermore, the BioAstin Supreme does not even contain lycopene, it simply mentions the word lycopene in the description.

 

On top of it all, these very same products remain widely available on Google Shopping:

 

Nutrex Hawaii MD Formula BioAstin Supreme – 60 Capsules

Natures Formulary Guggul – 60 Capsules

 

I was told that Google simply couldn’t police all of these sellers simultaneously…despite the fact that a comprehensive list has already been compiled by their service and it’s available on a single webpage from any web browser in the world. (If you are wondering if lycopene can be found on Google Shopping as well..it most certainly can.)

 

So to recap…

 

My account has been suspended for carrying products with ingredients (in one case just mentioning the word) on a secret list only available to Google employees. Meanwhile, my competition continues to sell the same products with impunity.

 

 

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