Changes to Gmail Ads content policy

Google provides translated versions of our Help Centre, though they are not meant to change the content of our policies. The English version is the official language that we use to enforce our policies. To view this article in a different language, use the language drop-down at the bottom of the page.

Gmail ads campaigns are now 'read only', which means that advertisers will not be able to create new Gmail campaigns or make changes to existing campaigns. This includes edits to any existing Gmail ads.

To continue serving ads on Gmail, we recommend that you create a Discovery campaign. Discovery ads allow you to expand your reach from Gmail to other Google-owned surfaces, which reach 3 billion people monthly and include YouTube and Discover. Learn more about creating and managing Discovery ads

In an effort to achieve greater consistency across ad targeting products, our Gmail Ads content policies will be updated to align with Google’s Interest-Based Advertising content policies in late May or early June 2016. When we make this change current Gmail Ads prohibited content policies will be removed, and Gmail Ads will then be covered entirely by our Interest-Based Advertising content policies.

This will be a global policy change.

What this means for you on Gmail Ads

We’ll relax several Gmail Ads content policies, allowing advertisers to create Gmail Ads on the following content categories:
  • Alcohol-branded content
  • Content related to body-type and personality-type targeting
    • Examples: anti-aging, fine-lines, anti-wrinkle, plus-sized, curvy
    • Note that imposing negativity upon the user, for example fat shaming, will continue to be disallowed per IBA policy.
  • Products and services promoting weight loss related to diet and exercise
    • Note that weight loss products that entice the user with improbable results will continue to be disallowed according to the Google Ads Misleading or unrealistic promotions policy.
  • Products and services to investigate compromised security
    • Example: "We can help find stolen data".
  • Sources of public record data pertaining to a person or property
    • Example: "Free Public Record Search".
  • Products and services relating to spiritual abilities and guidance
    • Examples: mysticism, psychic ability, magic

What you need to know about upcoming Interest-Based Advertising policy changes

Prior to Gmail Ads aligning to Interest-based advertising policies, IBA policies will also undergo policy and design changes.

These changes are intended to provide increased accessibility, clarity, and understanding of our IBA policies for advertisers and users alike. You’ll notice the following changes:

  • More transparency into why we have each content policy
  • Additional policy examples for added clarity
  • Increased detail in our policy definitions

We’ll also introduce new IBA content policies that will no longer allow advertisers to use the following information to target ads to users. Additionally, the content of the ad cannot be related to the following topics. When Gmail Ads aligns to IBA policy, these policies will also apply to Gmail Ads:

  • Personal hardships related to abuse and trauma
    • Examples: domestic abuse shelters or victim advocate services
  • User identity related to potentially marginalised social groups
    • Examples: immigration services or legal services for refugees
  • User identity related to transgender identification
    • Examples: information about gender transitioning or transgender discrimination lawyers
After the new IBA policy goes into effect, the IBA policy description will be updated to reflect these changes.

(Posted April 2016)

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