Political content

We support responsible political advertising, and expect all political ads and destinations to comply with local legal requirements, including campaign and election laws and mandated election 'silence periods', for any geographic areas that they target. Political content includes ads for political organisations, political parties, political issue advocacy or fundraising, and individual candidates and politicians.

Non-compliance with our political content policies may result in information about your account and political ads being disclosed publicly or to relevant government agencies and regulators.

Election ads

Election ads are allowed to run, with restrictions in certain countries. See below for how we define election ads in each country or region, and the advertiser requirements that apply.

Restricted targeting for election ads

Only the following criteria may be used to target election ads:

Geographic location (except radius around a location)

Age, gender

Contextual targeting options such as: ad placements, topics, keywords against sites, apps, pages and videos

All other types of targeting aren't allowed for use in election ads. This includes all Audience Targeting products, Remarketing, Customer Match, Geographic Radius Targeting and Third-Party Audiences, such as uploaded lists.

Election ads in the European Union

 

In the EU, election ads include ads that feature:

  • a political party, a current elected officeholder or candidate for the EU Parliament
  • a political party, a current officeholder or candidate for an elected national office within an EU member state. Examples include members of a national parliament and presidents that are directly elected
  • a referendum question up for vote, a referendum campaign group, or a call to vote related to a national referendum or a state or provincial referendum on sovereignty

Note that election ads don’t include ads for products or services, including promotional political merchandise like t-shirts, or ads run by news organisations to promote their coverage of referendums, political parties, candidates or current elected officeholders.

Below are requirements that must be met by advertisers who want to run election ads in the EU.


Advertiser verification requirement for election ads in the European Union

Allowed with restrictionsElection ads in the EU may run only if the advertiser is verified by Google.

Learn how to apply for verification.

Troubleshooter
  1. EU election ads may run only in the EU. Check that your EU election ads are running only in the EU and that you’ve been verified to run EU election ads. Learn more about the verification process

  2. Contact us to have your ad reviewed again, or edit the ad. This will resubmit the ad and its destination for review. Most ads are reviewed within one working day, though some can take longer if they need a more complex review.

  3. If you’re unable to complete the verification process, remove any content that violates the policy on election ads.

Election ads in the United Kingdom

In the UK, election ads include ads that feature:

  • a political party, current elected officeholder or candidate for the UK Parliament
  • a referendum question up for vote, a referendum campaign group, or a call to vote related to a national referendum or a regional referendum on sovereignty

Note that election ads don’t include ads for products or services, including promotional political merchandise like t-shirts, or ads run by news organisations to promote their coverage of referendums, political parties, candidates or current elected officeholders.

Below are requirements that must be met by advertisers who want to run election ads in the UK.

Advertiser verification requirements for election ads in the United Kingdom

Allowed with restrictions Election ads in the United Kingdom may run only if the advertiser is verified by Google.

Learn how to apply for verification

Troubleshooter
  1. UK election ads may run only in the UK. Check that your UK election ads are running only in the UK, and that you’ve been verified to run UK election ads. Learn more about the verification process.
  2. Contact us to have your ad reviewed again, or edit the ad. This will resubmit the ad and its destination for review. Most ads are reviewed within one working day, though some can take longer if they need a more complex review.
  3. If you’re unable to complete the verification process, remove any content that violates the policy on election ads.

Election ads in India

 

In India, election ads are ads that feature a political party, a political candidate or current member of the Lok Sabha or Vidhan Sabha, or any ads that are run by a political party, political candidate or current member of the Lok Sabha or Vidhan Sabha.

Note that election ads don’t include ads run by non-political entities promoting political merchandise like t-shirts, or ads run by news organisations to promote their coverage of political parties, Lok Sabha or Vidhan Sabha election campaigns, candidates or current Lok Sabha or Vidhan Sabha members.

Below are requirements that must be met by advertisers who want to run election ads in India.

Advertiser verification requirement for election ads in India
Allowed with restrictionsElection ads in India may run only if the advertiser is verified by Google. Advertisers who aren't already verified must initiate the verification process before running any election ads in India. 
Ad pre-certificate requirement for election ads in India

Allowed with restrictionsAdvertisers that want to run election ads in India must submit for each ad a valid pre-certificate issued by the Election Commission of India (ECI) or anyone authorised by the ECI.

Note: An advertiser must first be verified by Google before submitting this pre-certificate for each ad.
 

If you’ve already been verified by Google, submit pre-certificates for your election ads here

Troubleshooter
  1. India election ads may run only in India. Check that your India election ads are running only in India. In addition, check that you've been verified by Google, and that you’ve submitted a pre-certificate for each election ad that you want to run. Learn more about the verification process.

  2. Contact us to have your ad reviewed again. Most ads are reviewed within one working day, though some can take longer if they need a more complex review.

  3. If you’re unable to complete the verification process or don't have a pre-certificate, remove any content that violates the policy on election ads.

Election ads in New Zealand

Election ads in New Zealand are ads that feature any of the following:

  • A political party, current elected officeholder, or candidate for the New Zealand Parliament; or 
  • A referendum option up for vote, a referendum option proponent, or a call-to-vote once a national referendum is officially declared by an Act or Order in Council. 

Election ads don’t include ads for products or services, including promotional political merchandise like t-shirts, or ads run by news organizations to promote their coverage of political parties, candidates, or current elected officeholders. 

Election ads in New Zealand must be run only if the advertiser is verified by Google. Learn how to apply for verification

 
Advertiser verification requirements for election ads in New Zealand

Allowed with restrictions Election ads in New Zealand may run only if the advertiser is verified by Google.

Learn how to apply for verification
 

Allowed with restrictions Advertisers must follow New Zealand law and applicable Electoral Commission guidance related to disclaimers, including having a clear promoter statement in their ads where required. If required by law, advertisers must obtain authorization from a political party or candidate before purchasing ads.

Allowed with restrictions Advertisers must comply with New Zealand law on silence periods.

Troubleshooter
  1. New Zealand election ads may run only in New Zealand. Check that your New Zealand election ads are running only in New Zealand, and that you’ve been verified to run New Zealand election ads. Learn more about the verification process.
  2. Contact us to have your ad reviewed again, or edit the ad. This will resubmit the ad and its destination for review. Most ads are reviewed within 1 business day, though some can take longer if they need a more complex review.
  3. Confirm that you're not trying to run Maori language ads. Unfortunately Maori is not currently a supported language on Ads or DV360, and therefore Maori language ads are not able to run. New Zealand election ads in a supported language containing a commonly used Maori word or phrase are permissible. Further information about supported languages for Google ads can be found here and for DV360 here.
  4. If you’re unable to complete the verification process, remove any content that violates the policy on New Zealand election ads.

Election ads in the United States

In the United States, election ads include ads that feature:

  • A current officeholder or candidate for an elected federal office. This includes federal offices such as that of the President or Vice President of the United States, members of the United States House of Representatives or United States Senate
  • A current officeholder or candidate for a state-level elected office, such as Governor, Secretary of State or member of a state legislature
  • A federal or state-level political party
  • A state-level ballot measure, initiative or proposition that has qualified for the ballot in its state

Note that election ads don’t include ads for products or services, including promotional political merchandise like T-shirts, or ads run by news organisations to promote their coverage of federal election campaigns, candidates or current elected federal officeholders.

Below are requirements that must be met by advertisers who want to run federal election ads in the United States.

Advertiser verification requirements for election ads in the United States

Allowed with restrictions Election ads in the United States may run if the advertiser is verified by Google.

Learn how to apply for verification

Troubleshooter
  1. US election ads may run only in the United States. Check that your US election ads are running only in the United States, and that you’ve been verified to run US election ads. Learn more about the verification process
  2. Contact us to have your ad reviewed again, or edit the ad. This will resubmit the ad and its destination for review. Most ads are reviewed within one working day, though some can take longer if they need a more complex review.
  3. If you’re unable to complete the verification process, remove any content that violates the policy on election ads.

State election ads in the United States

In addition to the requirements above, there are further restrictions for state and local election ads in some US states. See details by state below.

California restrictions

The following is required of California committees that are required by California Government Code § 84504.6 (2018) to provide express notification to online platforms before purchasing 'online platform disclosed advertisements' related to either California candidates for elected office or California ballot measures:

Allowed with restrictionsCalifornia committees that wish to purchase 'online platform disclosed advertisements' must: (1) expressly notify Google and submit additional information about themselves for our transparency report and in-ad disclosures, and (2) verify their account.

Please submit this form to complete the express notification process. If you're using the Display Video 360 platform for advertising, please complete this form to meet the above requirements.

After completing this process, all of the ads in your account will be eligible for the disclosures required by the law. Because in-ad disclosures will appear via the 'Why This Ad' icon, you may not opt out of your ads displaying this icon. For more information about this process and recommendations for account management, visit this best practices guide.

Maryland restrictions
The following isn't allowed:
 Ads related to ballot measures and candidates for state and local elections
New Jersey restrictions
The following isn't allowed:
 Ads related to ballot measures and candidates for state and local elections
New York restrictions

The following is required of independent expenditure committees in the state of New York before purchasing political ads:  

Allowed with restrictions  Independent expenditure committees that wish to purchase ads related to ballot measures and candidates for New York state and local elections must inform Google that they're independent expenditure committees and submit a copy of their registration documents that have been filed with the New York State Board of Elections. 
 
Please complete this form to meet the above requirements.  
If you're using the Display & Video 360 platform for advertising, please complete this form to meet the above requirements.
Nevada restrictions
The following is not allowed:
 Ads related to ballot measures and candidates for state and local elections
Washington restrictions
The following isn't allowed:
 Ads related to ballot measures and candidates for state and local elections
Seattle restrictions

The following is not allowed:

 Ads that appeal, directly or indirectly, for votes or for financial or other support in any election campaign, or that communicate a message relating to any political matter of local importance, including legislation or an elected official’s position on legislation.

France Informational content ads

In France, the following will be prohibited on Google platforms from 1 June to 24 September 2020:

Ads containing informational content relating to a debate of general interest.

This does not include ads run by official government communication bodies (i.e the Service d’information du Gouvernement) promoting public health guidance related to the COVID-19 crisis or information about electoral processes.

Political ads in Singapore

In Singapore, the following are prohibited on Google platforms:

Ads that influence or seek to influence:
  • the outcome of an election to the office of President, a general election of Members of Parliament, a by-election of any Member of Parliament, or a referendum;
  • public opinion on a matter which in Singapore is a matter of public interest or public controversy, with key examples being those relating to race or religion; or
  • the legislative process or outcome in Singapore, or bring about, or seek to bring about, changes of the law in the whole or a part of Singapore.
Ads that promote the interests of a political party or other group of persons organised in Singapore for political objects.

Election ads in South Korea

In South Korea, the following is prohibited on Google platforms:

Ads featuring political candidates or parties for elected offices of South Korea.

Disclosure requirements for election advertising 

Google requires that all election ads in the EU, India and the United States show a disclosure that identifies who paid for the ad. For most ad formats, Google will automatically generate a 'Paid for by' disclosure, using the information provided during the verification process. 

Allowed with restrictions For the following ad formats and features available across Google, the advertiser is responsible for including a 'Paid for by' disclosure directly in the ad, followed by the name of the organisation or individual paying for the ad. The disclosure must be visible at all times in the ad.

Please note that this disclosure isn't a replacement for any other disclosures that you may be required to include in your ad by law.

Learn how to fix a disapproved ad

 

Need help?

If you have questions about our policies, let us know: Contact Google Ads Support
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