While yes, it would be an incredible feat of hypocrisy if Apple were to advertise the search term “Sex Game Apps” which is not what’s going on here, although this specific Google Ads juxtaposition is worth noting due to Apple’s strict attitude towards showing sexually explicit content in the App Store.
So what is really going on? Greg Kumparak from Crunchgear has a pretty solid theory; Due to the fact that Google will not advertise real sex sites (only sites related to sex education are successful), when a user searches for blacklisted items such as “Sex Game Apps”, the The Google AdWords (and / or Automatic Match) algorithm treats the word “sex” is invisible and focuses on serving ads triggered by whitelisted “Game Apps” keywords in bold. Therefore, why the iPod touch ad appears above although it does not have any mention of gender. The same trick works for “Nazi game apps” and a myriad of other racy iterations.
While AdWords flaws like this aren’t new (try “Android Apps Boobs” if you want the Android-compatible version), Apple’s inadvertent advertising against people searching for something the App Store doesn’t allow not is sufficient to at least consider a change in policy, on the part of Google or Apple.
Update: Research expert Danny sullivan explains more specifically what is happening here in the comments.
“It’s not that ‘sex’ is being treated as invisible or on a blacklist. This is because Apple buys the phrase “gaming apps” on a broad query basis – which means anything more than those words will trigger this ad. For example, search for “I hate Apple gaming apps” and voila – there’s the ad. The fact that the words “games” and “applications” are in bold tells you what they bought. “
Sullivan tells TechCrunch that while Google doesn’t blacklist specific words, the most interesting fact about the image above is that Apple doesn’t exclude the word “Sex” from its policy. Google AdWords purchase, where the company could choose to ensure that an ad does NOT appear for a search term. Sullivan also explains that this is likely an oversight on Apple’s part and that they will most likely put an end to the above happening soon.