Why Bing Ads Requires LegitScript Certification for Addiction Treatment Advertising

Microsoft updated its advertising policy for Bing Ads, impacting the drug and alcohol rehabilitation industry on February 20th. Bing joins Google and Facebook by partnering with LegitScript to create a safer advertising space for those searching for treatment solutions.

What does this mean for drug and alcohol treatment practitioners? Continue reading to learn:

  • Context behind why Google, Facebook and Bing are requiring a LegitScript certification for addiction treatment centers that advertise online
  • What your addiction treatment center can do to become LegitScript certified and begin using Google, Facebook and Bing Ads again for rehab marketing purposes

Creating a Safe Paid Space: Changes to Rehab Advertising on Bing in 2019

Five billion searches are conducted monthly on Bing’s network, making it a valuable advertising platform to reach and engage with audiences. This market share comes with it a responsibility to continually evaluate policies to ensure users have a safe and enjoyable search experience.

That search experience applies to those who are searching online for addiction treatment options and services, especially in the wake of a nationwide opioid epidemic. Take these recent statistics into account:

  • 28.6 million Americans have used an illicit drug in the last 30 days
  • 137 million Americans abuse alcohol
  • 11 million Americans have misused an opioid in the past year

Instead of trying to reduce the statistics above, several bad apples within the addiction rehab space saw an opportunity to deceive those at their lowest, leading to swift and immediate change. Google, followed by Facebook, restricted the addiction industry from placing paid ads; wanting to provide a safer space for individuals in the throes of an addiction and for concerned loved ones.

Policy changes were necessary to counteract unscrupulous and deceptive advertising tactics used to recruit intakes and prey on a vulnerable population.

Unfortunately, the few rehabs misleading struggling addicts and concerned loves ones caused the need for these policy changes. Decisive action was taken to combat this national concern. Now, Bing has followed suit. In its official statement, Bing provided additional context:

“We’re always evaluating our policies to help ensure a safe and engaging experience for our users. Drug and alcohol addiction are serious and sensitive topics, especially for those affected by the addiction either directly, or indirectly. Our users deserve the most helpful results we can offer when they are searching for addiction recovery assistance for themselves or a loved one.”

Bing will update its “Pharmacy and health care products and services policy” to reflect the requirement of the LegitScript certification for rehabs mid-March. So, what can addiction treatment practitioners do to place a paid campaign on Google, Facebook, and Bing? Beyond receiving a LegitScript certification, invest in sustainable lead generation strategies aside from paid channels when intake levels drop off.

Download Our eBook on Sustainable Lead Generation and LegitScript Certification

One conclusion can be drawn from Google, Facebook and Bing’s policy changes affecting rehab marketing and the entire drug treatment industry: when policy change happens, it happens fast, with little to no warning.

To help your facility stay proactive in rehab marketing in the face of constant change, our team created an eBook that provides a holistic approach to lead generation beyond paid channels. Within the eBook, your team will learn:

  • Six different channels your rehab marketing team can use to diversify lead generation efforts
  • Eighteen tactics your addiction treatment center can implement to maximize the effectiveness of the six channels in the eBook
  • A background into Google and Facebook’s advertising policy changes for the addiction industry
  • A checklist to help your treatment center toward its LegitScript certification, so it can continue rehab marketing efforts on Google, Facebook, and Bing’s paid ad platforms

Of course, if your treatment center has a question regarding Bing’s recent change in its advertising policy for the addiction industry, contact our team. We can walk your treatment center’s team through how we’ve helped rehab client partners complete their LegitScript certification while diversifying lead generation efforts.

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