Discovery ads format requirements

Discovery campaigns combine audience targeting features and visually engaging formats to help you better personalize 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 personalization 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 there is conflict with the Google Ads and personalization policies.The Discovery ads requirements are more restrictive than the ads requirements for other platforms and surfaces, meaning disapproved Discovery ad assets may continue to run on Google’s other owned and operated properties.  

*Ads on Google Discover are currently unavailable for consumers in Australia, France, and Germany.

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.

Example:

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.

Example:

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, movie, 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 artifacts, or halloween costumes
Cash giveaways or gambling-related content

Not allowed Assets that depict or reference gambling-related content, including (but not limited to):

  • Gambling
  • Lotteries
  • Contests
  • Cash sweepstakes or cash giveaways

Example:

Asset depicting cash giveaway

Improper content

Not allowed Assets that depict or reference:

  • Sexually suggestive content
  • Unnecessarily exposed body parts
  • Bodily fluids

Not allowed Assets that depict invasive medical procedures

Example:

Asset depicting an invasive medical procedure

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 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.

Examples:

Asset depicting divorce Asset depicting an accident, warning, or injury
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 for a funeral home, mortuary, cemetery, mausoleum, and memorial services companies so long as they don’t depict any of the negative events listed above
  • Assets that reference family and divorce services (attorney/law offices/counseling) so long as they don’t depict any of the negative events listed above
  • Assets that reference insurance or event support services so long as they don’t depict any of the negative events listed above
  • 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: specific demographic

Not allowed Assets that depict or reference dating services, or matchmakers for a certain age group, ethnic group, or nationality group.

Example:

Asset depicting demographics in dating

Implied interactivity

Not allowed Assets that feature visual elements that appear to be interactive or clickable.

Example:

Asset that appears to be interactive

Not allowed Assets that make inaccurate statements or exaggerated claims, including (but not limited to) suggesting that people have searched for the user or have sent the user a message while advertising a dating site.

Example:

Asset depicting someone sent you a message

Selfie image

Not allowed Selfie images are not allowed except for images related to relevant products and services, including (but not limited to) selfie sticks and photography.

Example:

Asset depicting a selfie image for dating

Unclear image

Blurry

Not allowed Images that are blurry, unclear, unrecognizable.

Examples:

Image asset that is blurry Image asset that is blurry

 

Distorted

Not allowed Images that are visually skewed or warped in a way that makes the subject of the asset difficult to understand.

Examples: 

Image asset that is distorted Image asset that is distorted

 

Poorly cropped

Not allowedImages that are cropped in a way that makes the subject of the asset difficult to distinguish.

Example:

Image asset that is poorly cropped 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 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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