About labels

Stop similar ads from showing on a page and manage other ad serving goals

Labels are used to group objects for a variety of purposes. One of the most common are competitive exclusion labels, which prevent ads from competing advertisers or brands from serving to your site or app at the same time. There are several label types used for other purposes, including grouping items for reporting.

Labels can be applied to a variety of items in Ad Manager—from orders and line item to ad units and companies. Learn more about where you can add labels in Apply labels.

Labels are also inherited from "up-stream" or parent items. For instance, if you apply a label to an advertiser, all of that advertiser's orders and subsequent line items inherit that label.

Labels and Preferred Deals

Labels are not supported for Preferred Deals in Ad Manager. The label field is hidden on Preferred Deal proposal line items but appears on the actual line items.

Labels types

Competitive exclusions

Competitive exclusion labels prevent line items with the same label from showing ads on the same page. Adding these labels to your line items can be helpful if you have multiple advertisers who sell similar products or services.


If you have two car manufacturers advertising across your network, showing ads for both of their cars at the same time may not result in a good experience for users of your website or app. Doing so may reflect poorly on the brands of both manufacturers. Both advertisers may want to avoid this from happening.

To manage this situation, you could create a competitive exclusion label called "Auto" and then apply it to any line times where your advertiser was a car manufacturer.

You don't necessarily need to use competitive exclusion labels for all of your advertisers—just those who have expressed concern about their ads showing on the same page as similar products or services. However, be sure to communicate that this possibility is available for them as they may not be fully aware that Ad Manager has this feature. 

Same advertiser exception

Competitive exclusion labels do not take into account the advertiser you specified in the order—they only prevent line items (or any advertiser) with the same label from showing ads on the same page. If your advertiser is fine with two (or more) if its line items showing on the same page, that have the same competitive exclusion label applied, you can activate the Same advertiser exception option. This options allows line items with the same advertiser to show on the same page, despite the line items having the same competitive exclusion label. 

Additional consideration for competitive exclusion labels

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, or calling video and display requests separately.


Since you're telling the ad server not to serve more than one line item from a given label to a page, competitive 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—this is desirable as you want roadblocks to serve as expected. If you apply a label, and a line item is set up with roadblock creatives, creatives serve continue to together on the same page.

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 

Only available in Google Ad Manager 360.

Partner labels have been deprecated.

Creative wrapper

Only available in Google Ad Manager 360.

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

Reporting (no type required)

You create a label "performance" and apply to multiple line items. You can then use that label to report on the performance of those line items as a group.

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