It’s not uncommon to hear that customers do not actually own, or even have access to, their Google Ad account.
When we come across a Google Ad account that the business does not own, or even have access to, we have to rebuild the account, because the previous agency is unable or unwilling to release their account.
A transparent agency never builds a Google Ad account in their name, it is always the client’s account, and in the client’s name. Some of the reasons agencies give for not handing over your ad account are:
The account was created under our manager account and can’t be unlinked.
This is not true. A Google Ad account can be unlinked from a manager account by making you an administrator and removing their own access.
The account was set up under our agency billing account so cannot be transferred.
Again this is not the case. The billing settings for any Google Ad account can be changed anytime.
The Google Ad account is our Intellectual Property.
While this can be awkward, the account does contain your work, you have paid for this service, and the data essentially belongs to you and your business. I would ask why an agency needs to retain the data specific to your business.
If we allow access to our account you will see all of our clients data.
This is also not true. For many years Google has made provision for agencies to work on behalf of clients by providing an account structure that allows you to gain access to just to your own account.
In considering the above points, the most important thing is that you are in control of your own business account because the performance benchmarks and the subsequent data is important to your business and to understanding the market. You do not want to give away the data that you have paid for nor the control for access.
Over the years we have seen organisations who either do not own their account or know who has access to Google Search Console, Google Ads, Google Tag Manager, Google Merchant Centre, Google My Business, Facebook Pages, or Facebook Ad manager accounts. Some do not even own their own website hosting accounts and domain name registrations.
It should be a red flag if your existing agency refuses to allow you access to your own accounts.