Prevent competitors from serving together

You can block certain types of ads from appearing when ads from other specific advertisers, brands, or categories are present. For example, you may want to block a specific advertiser from buying inventory across Ad Manager or Ad Exchange because of an agreement with a competing advertiser, or a direct deal.

How competitive exclusions work

Use competitive exclusions to create custom groupings of advertisers/brands/categories whose ads can or cannot serve together, and designate the portions of your inventory where they cannot serve. Ads from advertisers/brands/categories within the same group can serve at the same time on the same page; ads from advertisers/brands/categories that are in different groups are blocked from serving together.

EXAMPLE: You have an agreement with Advertiser A, and you don’t want to run any ads from its competing advertisers (Advertiser B and Advertiser C). You can create a competitive advertiser exclusion and assign Advertiser A to its own group, and Advertisers B and C to a separate group within the same exclusion. If an ad from Advertiser A serves to an ad unit you designated within the exclusion, ads from Advertisers B and C get blocked from serving at the same time.

Ad Manager competitive exclusions are applied in Ad Exchange in real time. Ad Manager sends inventory and exclusion information to Ad Exchange, then Ad Exchange chooses one or more ads that satisfy these requirements.

Set up competitive exclusions

  1. Sign in to Google Ad Manager.
  2. Click Protections and then Protections
  3. Click New protection and then Competition
  4. Name your competitive exclusion.
  5. Target the inventory the protection will be applied to.
    • If you select Only protect specified inventory, expand the “Inventory” section and make your targeting selections.
    • If you don't target any ad units, the protection applies similarly to run of network, excluding the selected advertisers/brands/categories from your network.
    • The protection also applies to child ad units. If you include an ad unit that contains special child ad units, those ad units are also included in the protection despite not being explicitly targeted.
  6. Create blocking groups. The Multi-group block option determines how many blocking groups you’ll create.
    • When deselected: The exclusion is applied within one group. Next to “Group,” select the advertisers/brands/categories that you don’t want to serve together.
      EXAMPLE: If Advertiser A and Advertiser B are in the group, ads from those two advertisers won’t serve together.
    • When selected: Advertisers/brands/categories in different groups are blocked from serving together. Next to “If showing,” select the components that we’ll check for. If any of those components are showing ads on a page, we won’t show ads from the components you select in the “Block” group.
      EXAMPLE: Advertiser A and Advertiser B are in the “If showing” group, and Advertiser C is in the “Block” group. If a page is showing ads from Advertiser A and/or Advertiser B, then ads from Advertiser C won’t appear on that page.
  7. Click Save.
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