Discovery ads format requirements

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Discovery campaigns combine audience targeting features and visually engaging formats to help you better personalise your ads within Google's feeds to inspire customer action. This article outlines the requirements your Discovery ad assets (headline, description or image) must meet in order for your Discovery campaigns to serve.

Users visit the YouTube Home and Watch Next feeds, Google Discover and the Gmail Promotions and Social tabs to browse and explore new content that aligns with their interests. To ensure that we provide a high-quality consumer ad experience on Google’s owned and operated surfaces, Discovery ads must comply with all Google Ads and personalisation policies. In addition, we will review each Discovery ad asset for compliance with the Discovery ads requirements listed below, which will take priority in the event that there is conflict with the Google Ads and personaliszation policies.The Discovery ads requirements are more restrictive than the ads requirements for other platforms and surfaces, meaning that disapproved Discovery ad assets may continue to run on Google’s other owned and operated properties.

Discovery ads requirements

You can view any asset-level disapprovals in your Discovery campaign asset report.

Prohibited categories

Regulated goods

Not allowed Assets that depict or reference regulated goods or substances, including (but not limited to) recreational drugs, tobacco and alcohol.


Asset depicting alcohol

Weapons or criminality

Not allowed Assets that depict or reference images of weapons or criminality, including (but not limited to) guns, firearms, ammunition, explosives, the sale of fireworks, knives, prison, criminals or arrests.


Asset depicting criminality

Allowed with limitations Allowed with limitations

  • Assets that depict or reference the above prohibited categories in a scene from a fictional work of entertainment (video game, TV-show, film, etc.). 
  • Assets that depict or reference the above prohibited categories but not in a violent or criminal context, including (but not limited to) kitchen and utility knives, historical artefacts or halloween costumes
Cash giveaways content

Not allowed Assets that depict cash sweepstakes or cash giveaways, including (but not limited to):

  • Cash rewards without legitimate user action

  • Paid surveys and questionnaires

  • Cash sweepstakes or cash giveaways

Improper content

Not allowed Assets that depict or reference racy or adult content including (but not limited to):

  • Sexually suggestive content
  • Unnecessarily focus on body parts
  • Sexual merchandise and entertainment


Not allowed Assets that depict invasive medical procedures


Asset depicting an invasive medical procedure


Not allowed Assets that depict content that could cause discomfort, including (but not limited to) bodily fluids and waste

Negative events

Not allowed Assets that depict negative life events including (but not limited to):

  • Divorce, breakups or family separation, home foreclosures, financial difficulties, accidents and personal injuries (non-exhaustive examples include sport, professional/work, medical and general accidents and injuries), or damage to objects or properties (non-exhaustive examples include vandalism or destroyed personal property)

Not allowed Assets that depict or reference natural or man-made crises.

Not allowed Assets that depict or reference behavioural addiction recovery including, rehabilitation facilities and products that aid in addiction recovery.

Not allowed Assets that depict death or death-related content including but not limited to:

  • A dead person or animal 
  • A funeral home, mortuary, cemetery, mausoleum

Not allowed Assets that depict trauma or pain including (but not limited to) a person grieving or crying.

Not allowed Assets that depict content that is presented in a way that is likely to trigger a negative reaction.

Not allowed Assets that depict discrimination or encouragement of discrimination, against people based on their personal attributes.

Not allowed Assets that promote actions that violate other platforms’ Terms and Conditions.


Asset depicting natural disaster Asset depicting a funeral and death
Asset depicting fear and trauma  

Allowed with limitations Allowed with limitations

  • Assets that reference services including (but not limited to) funeral home, mortuary, cemetery, mausoleum, memorial services companies, family and divorce services (lawyer/law offices/counselling), insurance or event support services as long as they are neutrally and positively framed
  • Assets that depict or reference the negative events listed above in a scene from a fictional work of entertainment (video game, TV-show, movie, etc.)

Dating-related prohibitions: users’ personal attributes

Not allowed Assets that depict or reference dating services or matchmakers by asserting or implying user’s personal attributes, including (but not limited to) race, ethnic origin, nationality, religion, age or sexual orientation.

Implied interactivity

Not allowed Assets that feature visual elements that depict nonexistent functionality (such as a 'play' button that cannot be clicked).

Not allowed Assets that tease the user into clicking the advertisement with sensational language, misleading claims or intentionally withholding necessary information.


Asset depicting cash giveaway


Not allowed Assets that illustrate that someone is trying to contact or has matched with the user while advertising a dating site.


Asset depicting someone that sent you a message

Selfie image

Not allowed Assets that contain selfie images for dating related content.


Asset depicting a selfie image for dating

Unclear image


Not allowed Images that are blurry or unclear.


Image asset that is blurry Image asset that is blurry



Not allowedImages that are visually oddly skewed or shaped, morphed, upside-down, distastefully out of focus, colour-inverted, excessively filtered, distorted or contain watermarks.


Image asset that is distorted


Poorly cropped

Not allowedImages that are critically cropped or contain even minimally cropped text overlay.


  Image asset that is poorly cropped


Offensive language

Not allowedAssets containing obscene or offensive language, including (but not limited to) profanity and sexual innuendos.

Confusing text

Not allowedAssets that use placeholder text, distasteful formatting such as nonsensical punctuation or capitalisation, incomplete sentences or don’t use commonly accepted spelling or grammar in a way that makes the subject of the asset difficult to understand.

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