AdWords policies

Welcome to the AdWords Policy Center! Here you'll find the requirements for advertising on the Google Network.

Our policies cover four broad areas:




Prohibited content

Counterfeit Goods

Google does not allow the promotion of counterfeit goods. Counterfeit goods contain a trademark or logo that is identical to (or substantially indistinguishable from) the trademark of another. These goods mimic the brand features of the product in an attempt to pass themselves off as a genuine product of the brand owner.

Dangerous Products or Services

We want to help keep people safe both online and offline, so we don't allow the promotion of some products or services that cause damage, harm or injury.

Examples of dangerous content: Recreational drugs (chemical or herbal); psychoactive substances; equipment to facilitate drug use; weapons, ammunition, explosive materials and fireworks; instructions for making explosives or other harmful products; tobacco products

Products or Services that Enable Dishonest Behavior

We value honesty and fairness, so we don't allow the promotion of products or services that are designed to enable dishonest behaviour.

Examples of products or services that enable dishonest behaviour: Hacking software or instructions; services designed to artificially inflate ad or website traffic; fake documents; academic cheating services

Offensive or Inappropriate Content

We value diversity and respect for others, and we strive to avoid offending users with ads or websites that are inappropriate for our ad network.

For this reason, we don't allow the promotion of any of the following:

  • hatred; violence; harassment; racism; sexual, religious, or political intolerance or organisations with such views
  • content that's likely to shock or disgust
  • content that's exploitative or appears to unfairly capitalise at the expense of others

Examples of inappropriate or offensive content: bullying or intimidation of an individual or group, racial discrimination, hate group paraphernalia, graphic crime scene or accident images, cruelty to animals, murder, self-harm, extortion or blackmail, sale or trade of endangered species, ads using profane language


Prohibited Practices

Abuse of the Ad Network

We want ads to be useful, varied, relevant and safe for users when serving them across the Google Network. As a result, we don't allow any of the following:
  • malicious ads, sites or apps
  • ads promoting sites that offer little unique value to users and are focused primarily on traffic generation
  • businesses that attempt to gain an unfair advantage in the ad auction
  • businesses that attempt to bypass our review processes

All of our policies are crafted to protect a high quality user experience, and we've built enforcement systems and processes to prevent ads that fall below these standards from serving. We take any attempts to trick or circumvent our ad review processes very seriously, so play fair.

Examples of abuse of the ad network: promoting content that contains malware; "cloaking" or using other techniques to hide the true destination that users are directed to; "arbitrage" or promoting destinations for the sole or primary purpose of showing ads; promoting "bridge" or "gateway" destinations that are solely designed to send users elsewhere; advertising with the sole or primary intent of gaining public social network endorsements from the user; "gaming" or manipulating settings in an attempt to circumvent our policy review systems

Irresponsible Data Collection & Use

We want users to trust that information about them will be respected and handled with appropriate care. As such, our advertising partners should not misuse this information, nor collect it for unclear purposes or without appropriate security measures.

Examples of user information that should be handled with care: full name; email address; mailing address; phone number; national identity, pension, social security, tax ID, health care, or driver's licence number; birth date or mother's maiden name in addition to any of the above information; financial status; political affiliation; sexual orientation; race or ethnicity; religion

Examples of irresponsible data collection & use: obtaining credit card information over a non-secure server, promotions that claim to know a user's sexual orientation or financial status, violations of our policies that apply to interest-based advertising and remarketing

Misrepresentation of Self, Product or Service

We don't want users to feel misled by ads that we deliver, and that means being upfront, honest and providing them with the information that they need to make informed decisions. For this reason, we don't allow the following:
  • promotions that prompt users to initiate a purchase, download or other commitment without first providing all relevant information and obtaining the user's explicit consent
  • promotions that represent you, your products or your services in a way that is not accurate, realistic and truthful

Examples of misrepresentation: omitting or obscuring billing details such as how, what and when users will be charged; omitting or obscuring charges associated with financial services such as interest rates, fees and penalties; failing to display tax or licence numbers, contact information or physical address where relevant; making offers that aren't actually available; making misleading or unrealistic claims regarding weight loss or financial gain; collecting donations under false pretenses; "phishing" or falsely purporting to be a reputable company in order to get users to part with valuable personal or financial information


Restricted Content

The policies below cover content that is sometimes legally or culturally sensitive. Online advertising can be a powerful way to reach customers, but in sensitive areas, we also work hard to avoid showing these ads when and where they might be inappropriate.

For that reason, we allow the promotion of the content below, but on a limited basis. These promotions may not show to every user in every location, and advertisers may need to meet additional requirements before their ads are eligible to run. Note that not all ad products, features or networks are able to support this restricted content. Further details can be found in the Policy Center.

Adult-Oriented Content

Google restricts the promotion of the following types of adult-oriented content:
  • offline adult entertainment
  • adult merchandise
  • dating services
  • international bride services
  • sexually suggestive content
  • images containing exposed skin and nudity

When promoting adult content, you may not do any of the following:

  • violate applicable laws or regulations for any location that your campaign targets
  • target minors
  • promote sexually explicit content
  • promote content with underage or non-consensual sexual themes
  • promote escort services or other services that may be interpreted as providing sexual acts in exchange for compensation

Examples of restricted adult content: strip clubs, erotic cinemas, sex toys, adult magazines, sexual enhancement products, matchmaking sites, models in sexualised poses

Alcoholic Beverages

Google restricts the promotion of alcoholic beverages and drinks that resemble alcoholic beverages.

When promoting alcoholic beverages, you may not do any of the following:

  • violate applicable laws and industry standards for any location that your campaign targets
  • target individuals below the legal drinking age
  • imply that drinking alcohol can improve social, sexual, professional, intellectual or athletic standing
  • imply that drinking alcohol provides health or therapeutic benefits
  • portray excessive drinking in a positive light or feature binge or competition drinking
  • show alcohol being consumed in conjunction with the operation of a vehicle of any kind, the operation of machinery or the performance of any task requiring alertness or dexterity

Examples of restricted alcoholic beverages: beer, wine, sake, spirits or hard alcohol, Champagne, fortified wine, non-alcoholic beer, non-alcoholic wine and non-alcoholic distilled spirits

Copyrighted Content

Google restricts the promotion of copyrighted content. If you would like to promote copyrighted content and believe that you're legally authorised to do so, you can send us your copyright documentation to be certified to advertise.

Visit our page on removing content from Google to learn how we handle copyright-related issues or to submit a copyright-related complaint.

Gambling-Related Content

Google restricts the promotion of the following gambling-related content:
  • offline and online gambling
  • online gambling-related information
  • online games played for money or prizes
  • online casino-based games, regardless of whether money is exchanged

When promoting gambling-related content, you need to do the following:

  1. Comply with applicable laws and industry standards for any location that your campaign targets.
  2. Meet local licensing requirements for all gambling-related products and services that you're promoting.
  3. Clearly display information on your website about responsible gambling.
  4. Ensure that you don't target minors.

Additionally, you must receive pre-authorisation from Google before promoting any online gambling-related content. If the country that you'd like to target is not listed in the country section below, AdWords can’t promote restricted gambling content there.

Examples of restricted gambling-related content: physical casinos; sites where users can bet on poker, bingo, roulette or sports events; national or private lotteries; sports odds aggregator sites; sites offering bonus codes or promotional offers for gambling sites; online educational materials for casino-based games; sites offering "poker-for-fun" games; non-casino-based cash game sites

Healthcare-Related Content

Google restricts the promotion of healthcare-related content such as the following:
  • over-the-counter medication
  • prescription medication and information about prescription medication
  • online and offline pharmacies
  • pregnancy and fertility-related products and services
  • medical services and procedures
  • medical devices and tests
  • clinical trial recruitment
  • sexual enhancement treatments

The restrictions that apply to this content may vary depending on the product or service that you're promoting and the countries that you're targeting. Some content, such as unapproved pharmaceuticals and supplements, can't be promoted anywhere.

Depending on the content that you're promoting and the countries where your ads appear, you may need to apply for pre-authorisation with Google before advertising healthcare-related content.

Political Content

When promoting political content, you need to comply with the following:
  • applicable laws and industry standards for any location that your campaign targets
  • any applicable election "silence periods"
  • Google's country-specific requirements

Examples of political content: promotion of political parties or candidates, political issue advocacy

Trademarks

There are multiple factors that determine when trademarks can be used in AdWords text ads. Along with the factors described in our Policy Resource Centre, these policies apply only to trademarked terms where the owner submitted a valid complaint to Google and requested that the terms be restricted in Google text ads.

Editorial & Technical Requirements

We want to deliver ads that are engaging for users without being annoying or difficult to interact with, so we've developed editorial requirements to help keep your ads appealing to users. We've also specified technical requirements to help users and advertisers get the most out of the variety of ad formats that we offer.

Editorial & Professional Requirements

In order to provide a quality user experience, Google requires that all promotions meet high professional and editorial standards. We only allow promotions that are clear, professional in appearance and that lead users to content that is relevant, useful and easy to interact with.

Examples of promotions that don't meet these editorial and professional requirements:

  • a Display URL that does not accurately reflect the URL of the landing page, such as "google.com" taking users to "gmail.com"
  • overly generic ads that contain vague phrases such as "Buy products here"
  • gimmicky use of words, numbers, letters, punctuation or symbols such as FREE, f-r-e-e and F₹€€!!
  • sites that are under construction, parked domains or are just not working
  • sites that have disabled the browser's back button
  • sites that are not viewable in commonly used browsers

Technical Requirements

In order to help you provide a quality user experience and deliver attractive, professional looking ads, Google has developed technical specifications for our ad units. We only allow promotions that comply with these technical specifications, so please review the technical requirements for all ad formats that you're using.

Examples of technical requirements: character limits for the ad headline or body, image size requirements, file size limits, video length limits, aspect ratios




About our policies

AdWords enables businesses of all sizes, from around the world, to promote a wide variety of products, services and websites on Google and across our network. We want to help you reach existing and potential customers and audiences. However, to help create a safe and positive experience for users, we listen to their feedback and concerns about the types of ads that they see. We also regularly review changes in online trends and practices, industry norms and regulations. And finally, in crafting our policies, we also think about our values and culture as a company, as well as operational, technical and business considerations. As a result, we have created a set of policies that apply to all promotions on the Google Network.

Google requires that advertisers comply with all applicable laws and regulations and the Google policies described above. It's important that you familiarise yourself with and keep up to date on these requirements for the places where your business operates, as well as any other places that your ads are showing. When we find content that violates these requirements, we may block it from appearing, and in cases of repeated or egregious violations, we may stop you from advertising with us.


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