Imagine being a publisher in Europe and everytime you login your AdSense account, you are greeted instead with a page similar to the one we see when AdSense updates their Terms & Conditions. Right now for European publishers (see note below on which European countries) it is considered optional to use local currency instead of the default US currency, but those publishers who prefer reporting in U.S. Dollars (USD), they have to decline each time they login – something sure to be annoying for those with an AdSense stat checking addiction 😉
AdSense began asking publishers to change currencies at the beginning of March, and included some other terms changes aside from the viewing reports in Euros instead of USD. From the Inside AdSense Blog:
To make the switch to local currency reports, you’ll need to agree to a new set of Terms and Conditions. Here are the main changes involved:
- The party that publishers are contracting with changes from Google Inc. to Google Ireland Limited.
- Publishers are responsible for paying any local taxes in their jurisdiction. Google will only issue VAT refunds to publishers with an address in Ireland.
- The governing law changes from California law to either English or local law.
It is also worth noting that AdSense also says that “We encourage you to update your account to local currency reports soon, as we may require this change in the future” (emphasis mine).
Obviously, there are plenty of reasons why some publishers don’t want to be forced to view their reports in Euros but to continue using USD too, one being that reports use the daily exchange rate but checks are sent out based on the exchange rate at the time the payment is processed. So depending on the exchange rate fluctuations, payment could be vastly different from what the reports were showing.
Another reason includes publishers choosing to hold payments until the exchange rate is more favorable and wanting to track earnings with market conditions in the US, particularly those who have the majority of their site’s traffic coming from the US. It also makes doing split testing with other ad networks harder, since many of them report in USD, meaning publishers also have to figure out the exchange rate and guesstimate what the exchange rate could be when payment is issued too.
From what I understand from the publishers I have heard from, the change covers all European countries in the AdSense program. (Update: Seems to be a subset of European countries, since one exception is the United Kingdom… feel free to post if your country is affected, so publishers know which countries are having this issue)
And being an international publisher myself who still has payments in USD, I would not be happy if I was forced to have my payments in Canadian dollars instead of USD, and yes, I would be pretty annoyed if I was forced to decline having my reports in Canadian dollars every single time I logged in.
There have been many threads and Google groups posted on the issue, but no response from Google on it yet:
- I don’t want to change my currency – can I stop being asked for it?!
- Tricked into signing up using local currency
I will keep you posted if I hear anything more on it, and if you are a publisher affected by the changes, please comment.