10/16/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/16/2019 16:07
At a congressional hearing today, Gianforte blasted Google for rejecting hunting advertisements under the guise of 'animal cruelty,' calling its decision 'absurd.'
Gianforte described how the Missoula-based Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) reached out to his office after Google denied one of its paid advertisements. Google rejected the ad, a video about a father and daughter hunting, writing that promoting hunting 'is considered animal cruelty and deemed inappropriate to be shown on our network.'
At the hearing, Gianforte turned to a senior Google official who was testifying, saying, 'The initial position taken was absurd. Hunting is a way of life in Montana and in many parts of the country.'
Gianforte reiterated his standing invitation to Google's CEO to visit Montana. 'I think frankly it would help Google to get out of Silicon Valley, come to Montana, sit down with some of your customers, and hear from them directly about the things that are important to them,' Gianforte said.
In May 2019, after the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation alerted Gianforte and U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) to Google's anti-hunting advertising decision, Gianforte and Daines demanded Google reverse its ban on hunting advertisements in a letter to the company's CEO. Google promptly reversed its decision and approved RMEF's ad.
Gianforte, however, remains concerned about Google's overall advertising policy. At the hearing, he said, 'I worry that other, similar groups have faced similar efforts to shut down their advocacy. We really don't know how many hunting ads Google has blocked in the last five years.'