The big Internet companies are behind the “high” times when it comes to legal weed. Even though they’re able to localize advertisements to niche geographical markets, Google and Facebook currently refuse to run ads from the burgeoning marijuana industry in places like Colorado and Washington state, where it’s now legal to buy and sell the once taboo drug for recreational use.
“It’s pretty ridiculous and short-sighted — not to mention hypocritical — for them to leave those legitimate ad dollars on the table,” wrote Taylor West, of the National Cannabis Industry Association, to GigaOm.com. “We are told that our posts ‘violate content guidelines,’ or something along those lines.”
Facebook cites — but does not define — “risk” associated with running pot ads. “The risk of attempting to allow ads promoting the drug in certain states or countries where it is legal is too high (no pun intended) for us to consider at this time,” Facebook rep Tim Rathschmidt wrote to GigaOm.
Twitter is also cold to pro-marijuana advertising, reports AdWeek.com. But marketing insiders tell AdWeek they expect this to change when the industry’s huge returns become evident. And when the celebrity endorsements start going viral.
“Snoop Dogg can be the Michael Jordan of the weed market,” said Nick Adler of lifestyle marketing firm Cashmere Agency.
It’s only a matter of time until Snoop and other pot luminaries, like Woody Harrelson and Willie Nelson, are being courted with huge deals to endorse what was once the scourge of society.