Develop and manage third-party creatives

When an advertiser sends you an ad tag that calls another ad server, traffic the creative as a third-party creative. Ad Manager recognizes the third-party creative’s code and vendor, and locates the correct macros which you can then select to develop the creative correctly. #thirdpartycreatives

Some of your advertisers may be working with a third-party ad server, such as Atlas or Mediaplex, to serve their creatives. If an advertiser sends you a piece of creative code (also known as an ad tag) that calls another ad server, you need to traffic that creative as a Third-party creative.

The key to successfully serving third-party creatives and minimizing discrepancies is to make sure that you are properly inserting macros in the third-party code.


Option to allow the creative to serve into a SafeFrame. New creatives now serve into SafeFrames by default. Learn more about rendering creatives with SafeFrame.

Third-party code and macros

You may be tempted to enter the third-party ad tags as a custom creative if you need to customize the code. However, you should avoid this approach. Usage of a third-party creatives ensures that Ad Manager recognizes the code and its vendor, populating the right macros as options. You can then select these macros while developing the creative.

Ad Manager can't recognize third-party code under custom creatives and won't provide the right macros.

If you need to customize the code for a third-party ad tag, use a creative template instead and work closely with the third-party to test the code and ensure its behavior is as intended. Some cases where you might need to use a creative template are to add a tracking pixel or to troubleshoot the creative.

Add third-party creatives

  1. Sign in to Google Ad Manager.
  2. Click Delivery and then Creatives.
  3. Click New Creative.
  4. Type in the name of the advertiser whose creative you're adding. Each creative is associated with one advertiser.
  5. Click Third-party.
  6. Enter the name for your creative.
  7. Select whether to add a code snippet for standard ads, AMP ads, or both.

Insert code and manage macros

  1. Paste the tags from a third-party ad server into the Code snippet field.
    • If you're creating a standard ad:
      1. If Ad Manager perceives the creative as coming from a recognized rich content vendor, click Insert macros to automatically insert the appropriate macros into your code snippet.
      2. If Ad Manager doesn't recognize your creative, place your cursor within the code snippet where a macro should be placed, then click the corresponding button to insert the macro.

        If there are no instructions in the ad tag for where the macros should go, ask your client to get instructions for inserting the macros so Ad Manager can properly serve the creative and track clicks and impressions. Learn more about macros

    • If you're creating AMP ads:
      1. Enter a URL that points to another ad server hosting the actual creative.
      2. To add macros, click Expand. Place your cursor within the URL where a macro should be placed, and click the corresponding button to insert the macro.

Target and track impressions

  1. Select the Target ad unit size where the creative should deliver.
  2. (Optional) Enter multiple Third-party impression tracking URLs.
    These are the URLs of third-party tracking services. The trackers are pinged when the creative appears and can contain macros. These URLs are not supported for creatives with an actual size of "Out-of-page."
  3. Click Save and preview the creative to ensure it’s serving properly.

If you notice a problem with how the creative looks, talk to the advertiser. Even if clicks are being tracked correctly, Ad Manager doesn't show a confirmation if the creative redirects to a Flash file.

If you've selected a creative for upload that doesn't match the ad unit size you specified, you'll receive an error message when you save. Select Allow creative size to differ from ad unit size to resize the ad unit.

For example, if you upload a 400x400 creative to a 300x250 ad unit, Ad Manager will accommodate the larger creative. Or, if you upload a 200x200 creative to the same ad unit, the creative would only occupy 200x200 pixels on your page.

Third-party AMP ads

You can create AMPHTML ads that are hosted outside of Ad Manager on third-party servers. These creatives are specifically built for your AMP content and load faster than standard HTML ads within AMP pages.

When creating third-party creatives in Ad Manager, you can add an AMP variant of that creative. This is simply a URL pointing to another ad server that hosts the actual creative. When the ad is served, Ad Manager retrieves the creative from that other ad server and delivers it to the user.

AMPHTML ads allow publishers, marketers, and technology providers to deliver faster, lighter, and more secure ad experiences across all platforms by applying the principles of AMP to building and serving ads.

Requests that take longer than 300 ms will time out, which may result in lower CTR. Google still charges for these timeouts.

How third-party AMPHTML ads work

Third-party creatives are based on a snippet or URL that calls another ad server. Within one third-party creative, you can select from the following HTML types:

  • Standard: Produces only the standard version of a creative.
  • AMP: Produces only the AMPHTML ads version of a creative.
  • Standard and AMP: Can produce either version of the creative.

Which creative version will serve?

The HTML type you select, along with the types of pages you’re serving ads to, determines the version of third-party creative that serve.

If creative wrappers are eligible to serve in the ad slot, but no AMP wrappers are available, Ad Manager always serves a standard ad. Learn more about labels and creative wrappers.

On AMP pages, if an AMPHTML version of an ad is available, it serves. Otherwise, the standard HTML version of the ad serves instead.

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