In today's age of the internet, people are able to interact and search for content online more easily than ever before. These circumstances provide an ideal environment for predators to find child pornography and victimize vulnerable children. Coupled with an increased amount of personal information being shared online, the internet makes for prime ground for predators to privately exploit children.
Predator Watch—a division of Children of the Street Society—wanted to eliminate this feeling of safety and privacy held by these sexual predators, when searching for child pornography and victimizing children online.
We needed to use a medium that could speak to this audience specifically during a private moment when they thought it was safe for them to be thinking of child pornography. So we used AdWords that targeted them at the exact moment they searched for child pornography.
The search terms we wanted to use in our AdWords were restricted key terms under Google's Advertising Policy. So, we reached out to Google and, through a partnership with them, were able to use these restricted key terms to target predators searching for "naked kids", "nude preteens", "underage boys", etc. Every time a predator Googled one of our search terms, they were served up an AdWord that was specific to their exact search term—reminding them that undercover officers are online, and deterring them from progressing any further in their search.
Due to the deterrent nature of this campaign, a high click through rate was not a metric we were hoping for. In fact, in the region where Undercover Adwords ran, our ads garnered over 10,000 impressions, in just a 6-week period. If anything, these 'results' showed us that initiatives like this could benefit from running longer and in more markets—to hopefully intercept child predators searching these terms, before they find them.
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