After months if not years of industry leaders complaining about the gamesmanship in addiction treatment center marketing, and the findings by a Grand Jury in Palm Beach County, Florida, the nation’s search engine leader, Google, has finally clamped down on what has been found to be substantive marketing abuses by internet-savvy providers.
It is sad, however, that what is otherwise a very viable (if not the only) ability to find a treatment programs that match needs has become a “no man’s land” of mines and traps for the unwary.
For now, we believe that Google is simply “putting the brakes” on a runaway problem until they can resolve the problem that has been created.
We have been warning the industry that this was coming for weeks, if not months. We have been helping clients with alternative advertising avenues. Some have gotten ahead of this curve. Others, well, have not.
The exceptional article from Cat Ferguson of The Verge can be found here.
The article from the NY Times can be found here.
At the end of the day, the overriding public policy in healthcare is that our nation wants patients to voluntarily and intelligently choose their healthcare providers. That is absolutely the case in addiction healthcare, where an overwhelming number of patients travel for treatment.