AdMob & AdSense program policies

Limited ads

We have introduced limited ads (LTD) to give publishers the ability to serve ads in a limited way in the absence of consent for the use of cookies or other local storage, as referenced Google's EU User Consent policy. (You can use this feature under the policy even when end-user consent hasn’t been requested or has been declined; you should assess for yourself your compliance obligations, including required notice and consent, based on local law in your jurisdiction.)

This article outlines the limitations and supported features for Google’s limited ad serving solution.

In addition to disabling the collection, sharing, and use of personal data for personalization of ads, Google’s limited ads solution does not access cookies, user identifiers, or equivalent local storage on the user’s device. Note that data like IP addresses will still be used in the course of basic ad serving. Additionally, ad-serving technologies (our JavaScript tags and/or our SDK code) will still be cached or installed as part of the normal operation of users' browsers and mobile operating systems, and ad creatives will still be  sent to, and in some instances cached on, devices.

If a publisher is using the IAB TCF v2.0 consent framework, we will attempt to serve an eligible limited ad when there is no consent for Purpose 1 but Google is allowed as a vendor to operate based on legitimate interest or consent for purposes 2, 7, 9, and 10. LTD on apps will only be supported for the IAB TCF v2.0 framework at this time.

Cookie and local identifier usage

Limited ads disable all personalization and features that require use of cookies or other local storage as referenced in Google's EU User Consent policy, including mobile device identifiers. This means the following features are not available for limited ads:

  • Any ads personalization
  • Audience targeting
  • Search lift measurement
  • Survey lift measurement
  • Remarketing 
  • Interest-based categories
  • Mobile carrier targeting
  • Bandwidth targeting
  • Features that rely on a local identifier, including:​​​​​
    • Conversion tracking metric
    • In-app conversion tracking
    • Unique reach measurement
    • “Mute This Ad”
    • Sequential creative rotation
    • Video creative rotation and storyboarding
    • Video ad rules and session ad rules
    • Frequency capping
    • Reporting on cookie reach, unique reach, or in-app conversions
    • Some invalid traffic detection
    • Certain data transfer fields, such as User ID, will be unavailable
Fraud-detection capabilities may be reduced for limited ads. We recommend publishers inform advertisers that spam-filtering capabilities may be reduced on traffic where limited ads are being served.

Demand eligibility

The initial product offering will support mediation, app, and video in AdMob. Campaigns will not serve in AdMob in the event of a limited ad signal.

Programmatic demand is not eligible for limited ads. This includes Programmatic Guaranteed, Preferred Deals, Private Auction, Open Auction for Google demand and third-party demand, including Authorized Buyers and Open Bidding. Google demand as part of a mediation chain isn’t supported.

AdSense (AdSense for Search and AdSense for Content) will not be supported and will continue to require cookie consent to serve any ads.

Creative eligibility

Mediation

For mediation, there is no creative enforcement when non-personalized ads are enabled using Google’s EU User Consent tools and that same policy will be extended for LTD creatives served through mediation. Under TCF v2.0, we check that ad technology providers and other programmatic demand sources don’t violate Google policy and have at least one legal basis for processing data prior to including them in the mediation waterfall.

Implementation

There are no new user interface controls to implement limited ads. Publishers can indicate on a per-request level whether limited ads treatment should be applied.

  • GMA SDK: Will read has_consent_for_cookies key value from local storage that will trigger limited ads when false.

For publishers using the IAB TCF v2.0, we will respect the cookie or ID consent signal (Purpose 1) contained in the TC string. Limited Ads will be requested when consent for Purpose 1 is missing but Google is allowed as a vendor to operate based on legitimate interest or consent for purposes 2, 7, 9, and 10.

For limited ads requests, reporting will be unavailable for in-app conversions. Reporting on impressions for limited ads is available using the Serving restriction dimension.

Action required for consent management platforms

Publishers using Funding Choices will be able to create and traffic consent messages with Purpose 1 opt-outs using the IAB TCF v2.0.

Other IAB TCF v2.0 consent management platforms (CMPs) should not need to take any action to support limited ads. The existing TC string contains all of the relevant signals required to select the correct serving mode. If the following conditions are met for Google as an ad technology provider, we will serve limited ads:

  • No consent for Purposes 1, 3, and 4
  • Legitimate interest or consent for any other purpose

Currently, LTD on apps will only be supported with the IAB TCF v2.0 consent framework.  If a publisher is utilizing a custom consent tool and a user declines consent for the use of device identifiers, the publisher should not make an ad request as we do not currently have a method for the publisher to signal LTD outside of the IAB TCF v2.0 framework.

The following ad serving modes will be available for publishers:

Ad serving mode Personalized ads Non-personalized ads Limited ads
Spam and fraud protection Supported Supported Not supported
Programmatic demand from Google Supported Supported Not supported
Programmatic demand from third-party buyers Supported Not supported Not supported
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