A Thursday New York Times story that featured live coronavirus updates displayed several ads for an n95 respirator, which are in short supply among medical professionals. Such ads are problematic because, in this instance, the surgeon general has urged Americans not to buy such masks. The issue in this case became so challenging for the company that it’s since halted running programmatic ads from showing up in its coronavirus newsletter, a person familiar with the situation says.

The publisher is also proactively and re-actively blocking such ads, as similar ones are still finding their way through as well. The ad shown in Thursday’s Times’ story came from Best Dang Stuff, an ecommerce site of questionable repute, and was purchased programmatically through Google. The search giant says it’s since removed the ad, citing policy that prohibits content that capitalizes on tragic events.

“Since January, we’ve blocked hundreds of thousands of ads that attempted to capitalize on the coronavirus situation and we continue to take action to prevent these ads from serving,” a spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.

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