Microsoft has recently updated its Bing global ads policy, banning all ads for third-party online technical support services. According to Microsoft, the policy change follows serious quality issues that impact end user safety. As revealed in a recent report, Bing has blocked more than 15 million ads and 25,000 sites promoting "shady" third-party tech support services.

As a consequence of this update, Bing's Misleading Content Policy now prohibits advertisers from:

  • Promoting online technical support to consumers for products or services which the advertisers do not directly own.
  • Claiming to provide a service that can only be provided by the actual owner of the products or service being advertised. Specifically, a third-party may not claim to be able to reset email passwords.

This policy update reflects the ongoing regulatory and industry risks surrounding the promotion and offering of security-related and technical-support products. It should be noted, in this regard, that in recent years, several enforcement actions have been taken against various companies, with respect to various bogus security services and telemarketing-based tech support scams. Although such enforcement measures have been taken mainly by U.S. regulators, these actions were not limited to U.S. based companies, and have resulted in injunctions against companies acting in a deceptive or otherwise non-compliant manner, disbarring their practices and imposing heavy fines.