Apply and implement labels

Use labels to prevent competing ads on a page

You can use labels to exclude competitors' line items from showing on the same page at the same time. For example, you could categorize line items as "auto" and prevent two different car companies from showing line items together.

Create and apply labels to exclude competing ads

Create a label

  1. Sign in to Google Ad Manager.
  2. Click Admin and then Inventory and then ​Labels.
  3. Click New label.
  4. Enter a name for the label. The name can have up to 127 characters.
  5. (Optional) Add a description of the label.
  6. (Optional) Select a label type as described below. All types may not be available to all networks.
  7. Click Save.

Label types

  • Competitive exclusion: Line items won't deliver on the same page as line items from other advertisers that are assigned the same label. Learn more
  • Ad exclusion: Prevents line items from being delivered to ad units when the Ad Manager ad exclusion matches the label.
  • Ad category: Restricts or allows serving of ads belonging to Ad Exchange ad categories. If you select this option, you won't be able to apply other label types.
  • Ad unit frequency cap: Prevents certain types of line items from being delivered to users too frequently on different sections of your website with frequency caps.
  • Partner management: Organize your partners by label and prevent ads from being delivered to ad units of other partners. This only applies to partner management.

  • Creative wrapper: A snippet of code that wraps around a creative when it's served. Ad Manager uses labels to link creative wrappers to ad units.

Show more about competitive exclusions

Sometimes advertisers ask publishers to prevent their line items from being served on the same page in a single session along with the line items of their competitors. For example, an airline advertiser might request that you not serve their line items together with other airline advertisers.

You can prevent the line items of competitors from serving together by applying competitive exclusion labels to advertisers, orders, or line items. Labels applied to advertisers and orders are automatically applied to their line items. The labels categorize the advertisers, orders, and line items.


An airline advertiser want's to prevent their ads from appearing with other airline advertisers on the same page, at the same time. You can create a label named "Airlines" and apply it all all of your airline advertisers. When a line item delivers an ad for an "Airlines" advertiser, all other eligible line items for other "Airlines" advertisers are skipped for other ads on the page. 

You can only apply labels to advertisers, house advertisers, and ad networks. You can't apply labels to agencies or house agencies.

Competitive exclusion labels don't apply to AdSense or Ad Exchange line items.
By default, when you apply a label to an advertiser, you prevent multiple line items from the same advertiser from appearing on the page. You can make an exception and allow multiple line items from the same advertiser to deliver to the same page and to the same user. See the step-by-step procedure below to learn how.


  • Competitive exclusion labels depend on Google Marketing Platform cookies. If a user's Google Marketing Platform cookie changes within a page load, the label doesn't apply. Further, in the rare event that two ad requests on a page are sent to different data centers, competitive exclusion labels may not be respected. Consequently, a small proportion of users may see ads that do not respect these labels. Such issues are more likely in the case of non-standard implementations of Ad Manager, such as server-side implementations.
  • You don't need to use competitive ad exclusion labels for all of your advertisers, just those who have expressed concern about showing up next to their competitors.
  • Since you're telling the ad server not to serve more than one line item from a given label to a page, competitive ad exclusion labels may limit the number of impressions that are available for a given line item. Forecasting takes this into consideration, so while the amount of impressions will be limited, forecasts will still be accurate. You can increase the amount of available inventory by targeting the line items to a wider audience, for example.
  • Using labels will not stop roadblocks from serving as expected. If you apply a label to an advertiser, order, or line item, and if you have set up that line item as a roadblock, multiple creatives will still serve together on the same page. Learn more about roadblocking

Apply the label to companies, orders, or line items

  1. In Ad Manager, click Admin and then Companies.
  2. Select a company. You can apply labels to advertisers, house advertisers, and ad networks, but not to agencies or house agencies
  3. Click the Labels box under "Additional settings" and select a label. Repeat to add more labels.
  4. Click Save.
  1. In Ad Manager, click Delivery and then Orders and select an order.
  2. Click Settings, then click the Labels box.
  3. Select a label. Repeat to add more labels.
  4. Click Save.
Line items
  1. In Ad Manager, click Delivery and then Line items and select a line item.
  2. Click Settings, then click the Labels box.
  3. Select a label. Repeat to add more labels.
  4. Click Save.


Labels are inherited. This means that if you apply a label to an advertiser, it will be applied to the advertiser's orders and line items automatically. If you apply a label to an order, it will be applied to the order's line items automatically.

Inherited labels are marked with a special icon (Inherited). You can remove them from an object just as you would any other label. When you remove an inherited label, it's shown as crossed out, and you'll be given the option to restore it. Inheritance works from companies to orders to line items.

Competitive exclusion settings

By default, competitive exclusion labels prevent other line items with the same label from showing ads on the same page, even if those line items have the same advertiser. Enable Same advertiser exception to allow line items from the same advertiser to show on same page despite having the same label.

For instance, you might have the advertiser Marvelous Motor Group running campaigns for their new line of automobiles. You add the label "Automobiles" to Marvelous Motor Group's line items. The "Automobiles" label is also included in other line items from different advertisers running campaigns for automobiles.  Ads for Marvelous Motor Group and other automobile advertisers won't show together on the same page.

However, you want to allow line items from Marvelous Motor Group to show together on the same page. You therefore enable Same advertiser exception. Disabling this setting means that even line items from Marvelous Motor Group won't show together on the same page.

A competitive exclusion does not prevent the same line item from serving different creatives. To prevent different creatives being being served, you must use roadblocking and select "One one" (when available) or use frequency capping. This only applies to display ads, not to video ads.

Disable labels to stop competitive exclusions

If you want to stop a label from working, there's no need to remove it from all line items, orders, or advertisers. Instead, you can disable it.

  1. Sign in to Google Ad Manager.
  2. Click Admin and then Inventory and then Labels.
  3. Click the name of the label you want to disable.
  4. Click the pencil icon Edit next to "Status" and choose Inactive.

Re-enable the label by clicking into it again and choosing Active.

Remove labels from specific items

To remove a label, go to the advertiser, order, or line item and click the X on the label.

Removing inherited labels

If a label that was inherited from an advertiser doesn't apply to a particular order or line item, you can remove the label. When you remove a label from an advertiser, it will also be removed from all of the advertiser's orders and line items. Likewise, when you remove a label from an order, it will also be removed from all of the order's line items.

You can ensure that a label will always be assigned to an order or line item by adding the label specifically to that order or line item instead of relying on the label being automatically inherited.

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