Image ads

What's the policy?

Image ads are ads that appear with a picture. The rules that apply to text ads generally apply to image ads too. To ensure that your image ads are appropriate, we also have additional requirements when using the image ad format, as shown below. The policies below apply to both standalone image ads and images ads created using the Ad gallery.

Technical requirements

Non-animated image ads
File type
  • .JPEG
  • .JPG
  • .PNG
  • .GIF
File size
  • 150 KB or smaller
Image size
  • Vertical rectangle: 240 x 400
  • Mobile leaderboard: 320 x 50
  • Banner: 468 x 60
  • Leaderboard: 728 x 90
  • Square: 250 x 250
  • Small square: 200 x 200
  • Large rectangle: 336 x 280
  • Inline rectangle: 300 x 250
  • Skyscraper: 120 x 600
  • Wide skyscraper: 160 x 600
  • Half-page: 300 x 600
  • Large leaderboard: 970x90
  • Large mobile banner: 320 x 100
  • Billboard: 970 x 250
See sample image sizes

Animated image ads
File type
  • .GIF
File size
  • 150 KB or smaller
Image size
  • Banner: 468 x 60
  • Leaderboard: 728 x 90
  • Square: 250 x 250
  • Small square: 200 x 200
  • Large rectangle: 336 x 280
  • Inline rectangle: 300 x 250
  • Skyscraper: 120 x 600
  • Wide skyscraper: 160 x 600
  • Half-page: 300 x 600
  • Large leaderboard: 970x90
  • Large mobile banner: 320 x 100
  • Billboard: 970 x 250
See sample image sizes
Animation length and speed
  • Animation length must be 30 seconds or shorter
  • Animations can be looped, but the animations must stop after 30 seconds
  • Animated GIF ads must be 5 fps or slower

Flash ads
File type
  • .SWF (Flash)
File size
  • 150 KB or smaller
Image size
  • Banner: 468 x 60
  • Leaderboard: 728 x 90
  • Square: 250 x 250
  • Small square: 200 x 200
  • Large rectangle: 336 x 280
  • Inline rectangle: 300 x 250
  • Skyscraper: 120 x 600
  • Wide skyscraper: 160 x 600
  • Half-page: 300 x 600
  • Large leaderboard: 970x90
  • Large mobile banner: 320 x 100
  • Billboard: 970 x 250
See sample image sizes
Animation length and speed
  • Animation length must be 30 seconds or shorter
  • Animations can be looped, but the animations must stop after 30 seconds
  • Flash ads must be 20 fps or slower
Flash version
  • Important
    AdWords currently supports only Adobe Flash Player versions 4 through 10.1. If your ad uses any other version (such as 10.2), it cannot be uploaded.

  • Including these parameters can cause Flash ads not to work in some cases.

Keep in mind

Some image ad sizes are available only in some regions.

Here are more image ad sizes that you can use, depending on the region where you show your ad. These ad sizes are available for non-animated image ads, animated image ads, and Flash ads.
Image ad sizes by region
Ad type Dimension Size limit Regional use
PL billboard 750x100 150 KB One of the more popular ad sizes in Poland
PL double billboard 750x200 150 KB One of the more popular ad sizes in Poland
PL triple billboard 750x300 150 KB One of the more popular ad sizes in Poland
Vertical rectangle 240x400 150 KB One of the more popular ad sizes in Russia
Panorama 980x120 150 KB One of the more popular ad sizes in Sweden
Top banner 930x180 150 KB A popular ad size in Denmark
Triple widescreen 250x360 150 KB One of the more popular ad sizes in Sweden
Netboard 580x400 150 KB One of the more popular ad sizes in Norway

Click tags

Google doesn't allow Flash ads that don't support the clickTAG variable. The clickTAG is the tracking code assigned by Google to an individual ad. It allows Google to register where the ad was displayed when it was clicked and helps advertisers determine the effectiveness of their campaign.

  • On any click, Flash ads should redirect to the URL specified in the clickTAG argument; there should be no other redirection in between.
  • The variable name must be spelled "clickTAG" (upper-case TAG; no space between click and TAG) and not "click tag," "Click Tag," or any other form.

ClickTAG parameter code for ActionScript 2:

   on (release) {
     if (clickTAG.substr(0,5) == "http:") {
     getURL(clickTAG, "_blank");
     }
   }

ClickTAG parameter code for ActionScript 3:

import flash.events.MouseEvent;
import flash.net.URLRequest;
// ......
someButton_or_displayObject_to_receive_mouseClick.addEventListener(
   MouseEvent.CLICK,
   function(event: MouseEvent) : void {
     flash.net.navigateToURL(new URLRequest( root.loaderInfo.parameters.clickTAG), "_blank");
     }
   );

ClickTAG parameter code to check for the https: prefix:

   on (release)
     {
       if (clickTAG.substr(0, 5) == "http:" || clickTAG.substr(0, 6) == "https:")
       {
        getURL(clickTAG, "_blank");
       }
     }

Replace someButton_or_displayObject_to_receive_mouseClick with the actual name of button that will receive the click.

Note that it's not necessary to specify the destination URL for the ad anywhere in this code; this is taken care of through the usage of clickTAG. Also, depending on the structure of your Flash ad, it may be necessary to prepend "_root." or "_level0." to "clickTAG" above, resulting in "_root.clickTAG" or "_level0.clickTAG". It is strongly recommended to upload the ad into your account and verify that the ad is behaving normally prior to it going live, allowing time for any necessary changes.

Tracking event constraints

Google doesn't allow the specific tracking of user interactions that don't involve clicks. Tracking parameters that are not allowed include:

  • View-through tracking
  • Key-modifier tracking
  • Mouse location tracking
Coded behavior constraints

Google restricts the following coded behaviors:

  • Extra calls: Ad code cannot make external server calls for additional JavaScript or other functionality. All functionality must be localized to the code itself.
  • Tracking bypass: Ad behavior cannot be changed to avoid or eliminate the AdWords redirect URL.
  • Destination changes: Ads should direct users to a web page with the appropriate destination URL. It should not open the destination URL within the ad iFrame itself.
  • Integrated audio: Ads may contain user-initiated audio only.
  • Cursor behavior: Ads may affect or change a user's mouse cursor (arrow) within the parameters of the ad, but the user should be able to stop this interaction if it's non-user initiated or it should auto-stop after 5 seconds.
  • Random numbers: Ads may not include code that generates or uses random numbers.
  • Other disruptive behaviors: Ads may not be designed or coded to circumvent the basic and usual AdWords flow. This includes (but is not limited to) the ad being displayed normally to users, Google registering the impression, and a click directing the user to the destination URL indicated by the advertiser in their AdWords account.

For more details on Flash, including detailed technical specifications, refer to the official Flash help center.

Content requirements

Graphical layout
Ads must take up the entire space of the image size you've chosen, and they can't appear sideways or upside down. Ads can't be segmented, contain multiple copies of itself within the ad, or appear to be more than one ad. Google also doesn't allow ads that expand beyond the frame or otherwise encroach on the website.

Note that in each image ad, we include a small informational graphic overlay. We will not resize your image to accommodate this element. Your ad should always be submitted in the full original format size and take this overlay element into account. If the ad you submit is resized in advance, there may be extra white space visible when your ad is displayed. You can preview how your ad will appear with this overlay during the ad creation process when creating a standard image ad or a template image ad in the Ad gallery.

Relevance and quality
Image ads must be relevant to the advertised site. Ad images must be clear and recognizable, with legible text. We don't allow unclear, blurry, or unrecognizable images to be used in ads.

Strobing and flashing
Google doesn't allow strobing, flashing backgrounds, or otherwise distracting ads.

Mimicking site content, news articles, or text ads
Google doesn't allow ads that mimic publisher content or layout, or news articles and features. Ads may also not contain screenshots of Google AdWords text ads or otherwise simulate an AdWords text ad in any way.

Trick to click
Google doesn't allow ad behaviors that might trick a user into clicking the ad:

  • Ads cannot pretend to be a system or site warning.
  • Ads cannot mimic or resemble Windows, Mac, Unix, or Chrome OS dialogue boxes, error message, etc.
  • Ads should be clearly distinguishable as ads and as separate from the page's content.
    • Ad background must have the distinct look and feel of an ad.
    • Ad product or offer must be clearly identified/promoted in connection with your brand, logo, or name.
    • On all ads with partially black, white, or transparent backgrounds, you must add a visible border of a contrasting color to the majority background color of the creative.
  • A single ad in violation will result in a minimum of campaign disapproval.

Trick to click (animated ads)
Google doesn't allow the following ad behaviors that might trick a user into clicking the ad:

  • Ads cannot be for the sole purpose of playing a contest or game or to win prizes. However, ads can promote sweepstakes and contests on their sites.
  • Ads can simulate mouse or computer actions like mimicking the movement of a mouse icon within the parameters of the ad, as long as the mousing effects stop after 5 seconds.
  • Ads can have mock animated features or icons as long as the functionality works or the purpose of these features can be achieved on the landing page.

Trick to click (Ad gallery ads)
Google doesn't allow the following ad behaviors that might trick a user into clicking the ad:

  • Ads can have mock animated features or icons as long as the functionality works or the purpose of these features can be achieved on the landing page.

Family status
Google assigns a family status to all ads to make sure that ads are shown to an appropriate audience. Image ads and the content they point to must be "family safe." Any image ads and their associated websites cannot contain "non-family" or "adult" content.

What can I do if my ad gets disapproved?

If your ad gets disapproved for violating this policy, try reviewing the following tips to help resolve your issue:

Disapproval reason What does it mean? What do I do now?
Unacceptable animation length Your ad's animation length is more than 30 seconds. Ensure that your ad's animation length is 30 seconds or less.
Incorrect image layout Your ad's layout is unconventional or is expanding beyond the frame. Ensure that your ad takes up the entire space of the chosen image size. The ad shouldn't appear sideways or upside down, and shouldn't appear like it's more than one ad. Also, check that your ad doesn't expand beyond the frame or otherwise encroach on the website.
Unacceptable image content Your ad's behavior is tricking users to click on your ad. Ensure that your ad doesn't contain gimmicks that would trick a user into clicking the ad.
Poor image/video quality Your ad is unclear or unrecognizable. Remove all unclear, blurry, or unrecognizable images from your ad.
Unacceptable image/video content Your ad contains content that's not considered family safe. Edit your ad by removing any adult or non-family safe content.

How do I resubmit my ad for review?

If your ad gets disapproved, you can resubmit it for review by simply editing your ad and then saving it. To avoid getting disapproved again, make sure that your ad complies with our policies and that you remove any references to unacceptable content before saving your ad.

Here's how to edit your ad:

  1. Visit your account's Ads tab.
  2. Hover over the table row that lists the ad you want to edit. Click the pencil icon next to your ad, and you'll be able to edit your ad right there.
  3. Click Save when you're done editing your ad.

After editing and saving your ad, the Status column will change from "Disapproved" to another status like "Under review" or "Eligible." We review most ads within 1 business day. Some reviews may take longer because some ads require more complex review.

What happens if I violate this policy?

  • Ad disapproval: Ads that don't follow this policy may get disapproved. A disapproved ad won't be able to run until the policy violation is fixed and the ad is approved.
  • Domain disabling: We may suspend websites that violate this policy, meaning that the website can no longer be advertised with AdWords until the problem is fixed.
  • Account suspension: An account may get suspended if you have several violations or a serious violation. If this happens, all ads in the suspended account will stop running, and we may no longer accept advertising from you. Any related accounts may also get permanently suspended and your new accounts may get automatically suspended at setup. Learn more about suspended accounts.

Contact information

If you still have questions about this policy, you can contact us via the link below. You'll be taken to a form where you can write to us about your issue.
Contact AdWords Support