Google has started to release some more information about its COVID-19 SMB support program which offers free Google Ads credits to advertisers.
Only companies that have advertised for “10 of the last 12 months in 2019” and in January and/or February of 2020 will qualify for the credits. Although this seems reasonable enough, the policy wasn’t very clear in the original announcement.
Google is still being fairly tight lipped about how much credit advertisers will get but has said that it will be based on historic ad spend. Credits can be applied to future (not past) campaigns and must be spent before the end of December 2020. The good news is that unlike other Google grant credits, these can be spent on any Google owned advertising channel.
The announcement is very vague in some instances. For example, Google’s own FAQ question “ How do you identify an SMB” is (not) answered as follows and leaves the subject of SMB qualification still open:-
We have a global team that is specifically designed to consult with and support the needs of small- and medium-sized businesses around the world, and the ad credits will be supporting those businesses. We work with SMBs worldwide from local stores to companies with hundreds of employees and many locations.
Based on the above answer, Google will decide if a car dealership is an SMB or not.
Credits will be applied per customer, not per account so if you have multiple accounts under one company, you can expect to receive one credit allocation.
Perhaps the most curious element of the program is that Google will start to roll out credits in late May. Depending on where in the world you are and how the pandemic has developed, that late May may well be too late. There are hopes that some UK car dealerships may be able to start opening their doors again by late May and these credits would have been particularly useful in the run up to re-opening. Advertisers and agencies need to plan re-launch campaigns in advance and so some pre-warning of how much grant aid they can expect would be helpful.