Google has updated its Google Shopping and Google Ads policies to open up the sale of masks again on Google Ads and Shopping. Google said it has “determined that it is now appropriate to allow N95 masks in the U.S. and a selection of approved N95-adjacent masks (KN95, FFP2, and KF94) globally to be listed on our Shopping ads and free listings.”
As of yesterday, August 31, 2021, Google began to allow approved merchants and suppliers to list N95 and adjacent masks on our Shopping ads and free listings to help make them available to non-medical healthcare workers and other vulnerable consumers who cannot access them through the medical supply chain.
In March 2020, Google stopped allowing the sale of many masks on Google Ads or Google Shopping. But times change and masks shortages are not really a huge issue these days.
Google is using third-party companies to verify who is allowed to sell these masks:
- N95 Adjacent Masks (Global): Google Merchants will be required to apply for approval to list KN95s, FFP2s and KF94s through LegitScript. LegitScript will require additional information on the merchant, supply chain and for certain products will require an independent lab test be conducted for authenticity of claims.
- ProjectN95 (US-only, to start): Google Merchants will be required to apply for approval through ProjectN95, Google said Project N95 is the leading rapid response nonprofit organization that acts as the National Clearinghouse for critical PPE and diagnostic tests.
- Through ProjectN95, manufacturers will be required to share more information on their business, supply chain and provide documentation of relevant medical certifications (i.e NIOSH).
- ProjectN95 also adds an additional layer of vetting by reserving the highest-performing surgical N95s for healthcare workers, while providing standard N95s to consumers.
- Google said this ensures N95s are being directed to the most critical populations first and is in alignment with federal guidance.
Merchants and suppliers will need to apply for approval before their offers can be listed in order to mitigate the risk of counterfeit masks being sold. The application process for both paths will require merchants and suppliers to provide business and product information for review. Apply here for N95 listing approval via Project N95 and apply here for N95-adjacent listing approval via LegitScript.
Forum discussion at Twitter.