Environmentalists today appealed to search engine company Google to remove thousands of ads from its Japanese Shopping site that promote products for sale from endangered whale and elephant species.
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), a non profit group based in Washington, DC and London, UK wrote to Google CEO Larry Page, requesting immediate removal of over 1,400 ads that promote whale products and as many as 10,000 ads that promote elephant ivory products on Google Japan’s Shopping site.
The ads are contrary to Google’s own policies, said EIA. To date (March 4), Google has not responded or taken down the ads offering endangered wildlife products for sale, though the EIA request went to Google on Feb. 22, according to the Agency.
Further, EIA says Google’s Shopping site restrictions confirm that: “Elephant ivory – Not Allowed – Google doesn’t allow the promotion of elephant ivory” and “Whale products – Not Allowed – Google doesn’t allow the promotion of whale products including bones, meat or oil”. These restrictions are the same on Google’s wholly owned Japanese site.
Ivory and Whale Product Ads
“Google has laudable policies that prohibit the promotion of endangered wildlife products including whale, dolphin and elephant ivory, but sadly these are not being enforced and that’s devastating for whales and elephants,” said Allan Thornton, president of the EIA.
“While elephants are being mass slaughtered across Africa to produce ivory trinkets it is shocking to discover that Google, with the massive resources it has at its disposal, is failing to enforce its own policies designed to help protect endangered elephants and whales.”
This startling discovery, according to EIA, comes as 178 nations gather in Thailand for an important meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Those meeting in Bangkok are faced with overwhelming evidence that elephants are being slaughtered by the tens of thousands annually to fuel Asian demand for illegal ivory.
Photo courtesy: EIA