Setting a maximum ad content rating

Some types of ads may be more suitable for your app’s audience than others. Showing users ads that are a better fit can improve their overall ad experience and help maximize your app’s revenue.

Setting a maximum ad content rating can help by giving you more control over the content of the ads shown to your users.

Digital content labels

AdMob uses digital content labels to rate the suitability of ad content for different audiences. These labels are similar to content ratings set by other organizations for movies or video games.

The digital content labels are defined as:

  • G: "General audiences." Content suitable for all audiences, including families and children.
  • PG: "Parental guidance." Content suitable for most audiences with parental guidance, including topics like non-realistic, cartoonish violence.
  • T: "Teen." Content suitable for teen and older audiences, including topics such as general health, social networks, scary imagery, and fight sports.
  • MA: "Mature audiences." Content suitable only for mature audiences; includes topics such as alcohol, gambling, sexual content, and weapons.

Selecting a given digital content label will not change any general or sensitive category exclusions you’ve applied to your account and will not override applicable legal restrictions. 

For example, if you’ve disabled gambling ads or gambling is not permitted in your country, selecting the Mature (MA) rating does not enable gambling ads.

Both Google Play and the Apple App Store have their own ways of rating and labeling the suitability of content for different age groups. Refer to the following table to decide which digital content label corresponds to your app audience.

Digital content label Google Play (Android) App Store (iOS)
G 3+ 4+
PG 7+ 9+
T 12+ 12+
MA 16+, 18+ 17+

 

Content ratings in Google Play and the Apple App Store are used to describe the minimum maturity level of content in apps. However, content ratings don't tell you whether an app is designed for users of a specific age.

Set the maximum ad content rating for an app or account

You can set the maximum ad content rating for a specific app or for your entire account within the AdMob user interface.

If you use the SDK to set a maximum ad content rating for each ad request, that rating will override any rating set in the AdMob user interface. 

For example, if the maximum ad content rating in the SDK is set to T, and the maximum ad content rating in AdMob is set to PG, the ad content will include ads rated T. 

If you set the maximum ad content rating for an individual app, that rating will override any rating set for your AdMob account. 

For example, if the maximum ad content rating for your entire account is set at PG, and the maximum ad content rating for an app is set to T, the ad content will include T ads for that app.  

Set the maximum ad content rating for your entire account

  1. Sign in to your AdMob account at https://apps.admob.com.
  2. Click Blocking controls in the sidebar.
  3. Click the Ad content rating tab.
  4. Select the maximum ad content rating you want applied to your entire account. You should select the maximum ad content rating that’s suitable for your app users.
    The rating you set here applies to all your apps that default to the account-level setting. Each rating is cumulative. For example, if you choose T, the ad content will include ads rated G, PG, and T, but block ads rated MA. 
  5. Click Save.

Set the maximum ad content rating for an individual app

  1. Sign in to your AdMob account at https://apps.admob.com.
  2. Click Apps in the sidebar.
  3. Select the name of your app. If you don't see it in the list of recent apps, you can click View all apps to search a list of all of the apps you've added to AdMob.
  4. Click Blocking controls under the name of your app in the sidebar.
  5. Click the Ad content rating tab.
  6. Click the Match account-level setting toggle to turn off matching the account-level maximum ad content rating for this app.
  7. Select the maximum ad content rating you want applied to this app. You should select the maximum ad content rating that’s suitable for this app’s users.
    Each rating is cumulative. For example, if you choose T, the ad content will include ads rated G, PG, and T, but block ads rated MA. 
  8. Click Save.

Estimated impact of a maximum ad content rating

When you set or change the maximum ad content rating for a specific app or for your account in AdMob, AdMob estimates how this change will impact your AdMob Network impressions and revenue. 

Note: Estimates are based on the past 30 days of data and are not an indication of future performance. Also, these estimates only apply to impressions and revenue from the AdMob Network.

Exceptions for “Designed for Families”

If your app is part of the “Designed for Families” program, the maximum ad content rating you set in the AdMob user interface may be overridden. The following ad content ratings will be applied:

  • Designed for Families (primarily child-directed): The maximum ad content rating will be overridden and set to “G”. These apps can only show G-rated ads.
  • Designed for Families (mixed audience): The maximum ad content rating will be overridden and set to “PG” if greater than PG. These apps can only show G- or PG-rated ads.

Set the maximum ad content rating for each ad request

When you use the SDK to set the maximum ad content rating, you’re setting it on a per-request basis. This means you can customize the ad experience for different segments within your audience.

If you use the SDK to set a maximum ad content rating for each ad request, that rating will override any rating set in the AdMob user interface. 

For example, if the maximum ad content rating in the SDK is set to T, and the maximum ad content rating in AdMob is set to PG, the ad content will include ads rated T. 

Using max_ad_content_rating for ad requests

When a user generates an ad request in your app, you can apply the max_ad_content_rating setting to the request to specify the maximum content rating of the ads used to fill it. This means that the digital content label of the ad used to fill the request should be limited to ads that are at or below the specified maximum content rating.

Examples

  • An ad request with a max_ad_content_rating set to T could be filled with ads labeled T, PG, or G.
  • An ad request with a max_ad_content_rating set to G could only be filled by ads labeled G.
These settings will override any existing app-level or account-level maximum ad content rating settings.

Tagging ad requests

The digital content label of the ads shown in your app can also be affected by the other ways in which the requests are tagged. Each tag has its own default value. Regardless of the max_ad_content_rating, an ad request won’t be filled with an ad above the default value.

If the request is from an app in.. The default value is... The available values for
max_ad_content_rating are...
Designed for Families
(primarily child-directed)
G G
Designed for Families
(mixed audience)
PG G, PG
Not tagged/default MA G, PG, T, MA

Implementation

Review the instructions on the Google Developers site to implement max_ad_content_rating in your ad requests:

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