Ensuring your Ads are Accepted

While the earth is ‘on pause’ and everybody is online, people are looking for ways to get their businesses up and running over the internet. One of the best ways to promote it is on YouTube with 2 billion monthly users. 

However, not every ad gets allowed on YouTube.  Google, the owner of YouTube, has implemented policies that ensure healthy digital advertising that works for both consumers, advertisers and publishers.  To ensure your ad gets approved, we’ve compiled a guide on the main reasons why Youtube will reject your ads with helpful links to resolve any issues you experience. 

For more information on best practices for running ads on YouTube, check out our post called “YouTube Ads 101: The Basics of YouTube Advertising.”  

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Reasons YouTube will reject your ad and what to do about it.
Getting your ad denied by YouTube can be frustrating so there are some strict policy guidelines to consider before creating your ad.

Reason 1: Suspicious Content

Counterfeit goods

How to get rejected: Using logos that are similar or identical to trademark goods. 

Tip: Make sure your branding is unique or trademarked or does not share any resemblance to other trademarks.

Dangerous products

How to get rejected: Promoting firearms, deadly weapons, chemicals and goods that can cause harm.

Tip: If your business is under this category, we suggest using language in your ads that promote safety when using such products.

Enabling Dishonesty 

How to get rejected:  Promoting products/services that help mislead others (ex. Creating fake documents such as diplomas and certificates, passports) or endorsing services that hack or gain unauthorized access to systems, devices or properties.

Tip: JUST DON’T DO IT. NOT COOL. 

Inappropriate content 

How to get rejected: Promoting hate or discrimination towards race, ethnicity, religion, sexual preference, age, disability, nationality, animal cruelty, highlighting sensitive and tragic events, promoting violence or gore, or advocating suicide. 

Tip:  If your ad is tagged as inappropriate but you are certain that the classification is incorrect, check out Google Support’s post on how to Fix a Disapproved Ad

Reason 2: Dishonest and Illegal Practices

Abusing the ad network

How to get rejected: Promoting content that contains possible Malware or misleading gateways that redirect users elsewhere in attempt to evade Google’s other policies.

Tip: See Troubleshooter: Malicious software.

Unauthorized data collection and use

How to get rejected: Using security measures inappropriate for the type of information being collected, and misusing personal information.  (Examples: Re-selling users’ contact information, using images of users in ads without their consent)

Tip:  Adhere to Google’s examples of what to avoid in ads in Data Collection and Use.

Misrepresentation

How to get rejected: Hiding the real price of the product, giving out offers that are non-existent or using a different business’ name to collect personal information from people.

Tip: See ‘Troubleshooter: Misleading content.

Reason 3: Explicit contents and features

Adult content 

How to get rejected: Promoting underage, non-consensual, or other illegal sexual themes, whether simulated or real or show ads that may be interpreted as promoting a sexual act in exchange for compensation.

Tip: YouTube doesn’t allow any adult content so find another platform! 

Alcohol

How to get rejected: Advertising for the online sale of alcoholic beverages is not allowed to run in any countries not listed on the attached link. If your campaign targets only countries that aren’t listed, your ad will be disapproved.  

Tip: Alcohol advertisers who wish to use an age gate on their homepage, brand channel, and/or video may do so under Google’s age gate policies (examples: beer, wine, sake, spirits or hard alcohol, champagne, fortified wine, non-alcoholic beer, non-alcoholic wine, and non-alcoholic distilled spirits)

Copyright

How to get rejected: Promoting sites or apps that facilitate unauthorized offline distribution of copyrighted content.

Tip: law is a huge deal when it comes to advertising. If you are authorized to use copyrighted content, you can apply for certification here.

Gambling and games

How to get rejected: Promoting “real money gambling” destinations. This includes gambling-related advertisements that appear on your social casino games destination.

Tip: Gambling-related ads are allowed if they comply with the policies and the advertiser has received the proper Google Ads certification. These kinds of ads must check for approved target countries, have a landing page that displays information on responsible gambling and does not target minors.

Healthcare and medicines

How to get rejected: Promoting unauthorized pharmacies may result in suspension of an account. This includes but is not limited to offering prescription drugs without a prescription or targeting locations where you are not licensed to promote such content.

Tip: Google allows the following pharmaceutical manufacturers to advertise in selected countries only. Here are some examples: 

  • Prescription drugs – only in Canada, New Zealand and the US.
  • Over-the-counter medicines
  • Other manufacturers and suppliers
  • Certification – must be certified by Google in order to serve ads (Solution: Apply here)

Political content 

How to get rejected: Promoting political content including ads for political organizations, political parties, political issue advocacy or fundraising, and individual candidates and politicians without consideration of local campaign laws.

Tip: advertisers must comply with local campaign and election laws for areas they target, which includes the legally mandated “ silence periods” during elections. Only the following criteria can be used to target election ads:

  • Geographic location (except radius around a location)
  • Age, gender
  • Contextual targeting options such as: ad placements, topics, keywords against sites, apps, pages and videos

Financial services 

How to get rejected: Not providing legitimate contact information and business addresses, and failing to disclose any associated fees on the product.

Tip: When promoting financial products and services, you must comply with state and local regulations for any region or country that your ads target — for example, include specific disclosures required by local law.

Trademarks

How to get rejected: Ads referring to the trademark for competitive purposes, linked landing pages that require users to provide extensive information before displaying actual commercial information, and ads that are unclear on whether the advertiser is a site for reselling or for informational purposes.

Tip: Google does not investigate or restrict trademark as Keywords. A great keyword list can help improve the performance of your ads and help you to avoid higher prices. Poor keywords can ultimately cause you to have higher prices and lower ad position.

Legal requirements

How to get rejected: Placing ad campaigns that geographically target embargoed countries or territories.

Tip: To see the type of local legal requirements that Google monitors in advertising, select a country from the menu below. Note that this is not an exhaustive list of local legal requirements or countries, and you are still responsible to research and comply with local laws where your business operates and in any region your ads target. Click here to learn more: Local Legal Requirements.

Being denied from YouTube’s network can feel like being denied from a prestigious party, but fortunately advertisers can follow their ad policy guidelines to ensure their ad is played for their ideal audience.  

Getting your ads rejected by YouTube feels like being excluded from an exclusive club.
Being denied from YouTube’s network can feel like being denied from a prestigious party, but fortunately advertisers can follow their ad policy guidelines to ensure their ad is played for their ideal audience.

Reason 4: Editorial & technical requirements

Editorial

How to get rejected: Using misspelled words, using non-standard words (such as F₹€€!!), or by using ads that don’t make sense or exceed the character limit.

Tip: If you wish to use trademarked terms or product names that are non-standard in grammar, punctuation or spelling, you can request a review here.

Punctuation and symbols

How to get rejected: Using punctuation or symbols incorrectly (such as “@ home” instead of “at home”) and invalid or unsupported characters. 

Tip: App titles and developer names are subject to this policy. You may need to change the name in the developer console to have your ads approved, or request a review to have the name approved.

Capitalization

How to get rejected: Unnecessary capitalization on words (such as “ThaNK yOu vEry mUCh”).

Tip: In some circumstances, these are allowed such as with coupon codes, common abbreviations (ASAP) trademarks and brand names. If your ad falls into this category, request a review here. 

Repetition and Too much Spacing

How to get rejected: Using product names on repeat or using awkward spacing.  (ie: T O O  M U C H  S O C I A L  D I S T A N C I N G or tooclosetogether.) 

Tip: Remove unnecessary spacing and words. 

Phone Numbers in Ad Text

How to get rejected: Entering a phone number in a text ad. 

Tip: try using call extensions 

Image quality and Video quality

How to get rejected: Using images and videos that are sideways, upside down, or that don’t take up the entire space of the chosen image size, or if the image is blurred, unclear or unrecognizable or has illegible text. 

Tip: If you can’t edit the photo or video to meet these requirements, upload a different video that complies with the policy.


Follow the Guidelines to Ensure your Ads Get Accepted

Google has put forth a lot of effort to ensure the health of the digital advertising ecosystem worldwide.  Following their policies and guidelines not only ensures your ad will be accepted, but will also help maintain a positive environment for advertisers and viewers making it easier to connect with audiences and for audiences to find what they are looking for.  If you have any questions, you can always contact Google Ads Support

Once your ad is accepted, and you need help placing your ads in front of your ideal audience, be sure to check out how TubeSift can help you do that with our precision-targeting software for YouTube ads at TubeSift.com. 

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