Originally posted on February 2, 2018
Here is an excerpt:
To sum up the entire debacle in a nutshell: Marketing entities would create referral ads and websites to bid on highly sought after addiction keywords, drive traffic to their call centers and send people to facilities-based purely on profit. There was no clinical or medical prescreening being conducted, no thought put into placing that individual with the appropriate level of care. Suffering addicts and alcoholics were being misled by strategic digital marketing tactics and pushed to the highest bidder. Often, these high bidders had a slew of ethical issues. This drove the cost per click for each ad through the roof, and soon enough only the Goliaths could compete on PPC (pay per click). Unless you had the money to hire an advertising agency or had an in-house marketer with extensive digital experience, there was no way to survive.
Recently, Google stepped in and placed restrictions on these ads to curb the gross abuse of the market. In September 2017, Google began to limit the kinds of ads facilities could create and just this year placed a temporary ban on all recovery ads to audit the entire industry.
The article is here.