Legal requirements & serving limitations

As an advertiser, you're always responsible for ensuring that you comply with all applicable laws and regulations, in addition to Google's advertising policies, for all of the locations where your ads are showing. The guidelines below are intended to help highlight some areas where we've seen advertisers violate legal requirements in the past. However, this is not an exhaustive list of legal issues that you may need to consider, so we urge you to do your own research regarding appropriate advertising practices for the place where your business operates, as well as any other places where your ads are showing.

In cases where you're promoting products or services that appear to violate local laws or regulations, we may notify you that your ads appear to violate legal requirements and take action to stop the ads from running, such as by disabling ads pointing to your site. We generally err on the side of caution in applying this policy because we don’t want to allow content of questionable legality.

As with all violations of our advertising policies, when we find content that violates these requirements, we may disapprove your ad, and in cases of repeated or egregious violations, we may suspend your account.

Local legal requirements

Here are some examples of areas where promotions may be in violation of local legal requirements:

  • Business or Product Registration Requirements: Some countries require that your business or product is registered with a local authority before you're eligible to advertise. Examples include immigration services in Taiwan and financial services business (like banks and credit card companies) in Japan and Korea.
  • Regulated Products & Services: A variety of restrictions may apply to your product or service depending on where in the world you promote or sell it. You should make sure you understand any restrictions that apply to the products and services you are promoting. Some examples include the following:
    • Examples in China: satellite TV equipment, surrogacy, private servers, click packages, credit card cash back services, gender determination, game hacks
    • Examples in Japan: black market financing, credit card cash back services, multi-level marketing, camera voyeurism, premium-rate prefixes (0570 or 0990), emergency numbers (110 police department, 119 fire department)
    • Examples in Korea: gaming currency, unregistered cell phones and cell phone loans, military equipment, investment related businesses
    • Examples in Russia: financial spread betting, information products with no age rating, cigarette lighters, Ethyl alcohol
    • Other examples:
      • Burmese gems in the US
      • government grant & stimulus in the US
      • religious content in Indonesia or Vietnam
      • Scientology in Germany or France
      • solicitation of funds by investment related companies in Malaysia
      • financial help machines in Indonesia
      • radar detection products in France, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Poland, or Switzerland
      • infant food products in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, or Bangladesh
      • pre-natal gender determination in India (Supreme Court Order (PDF))
Consumer advisories

For business areas where consumer advisories are common, Google may limit how ads about those products and services are served. For example, we'll only show ads for payday loans if "payday loans" (or similar terms) are included in the users' search query.
See how consumer advisories may affect your ad

Trade sanctions and restricted parties

We do not allow promotions that violate applicable government trade sanctions.

Unsupported content

In addition to the advertising policies and other legal requirements that advertisers must comply with, we occasionally must also ban or limit certain kinds of businesses from advertising with us, even if certain individual businesses appear to comply with our other policies.

Based on our own continuous review of the online landscape, as well as feedback from users and consumer protection authorities, we occasionally identify products or services that are prone to abuse by untrustworthy actors. If we feel that certain kinds of businesses with these characteristics pose an unreasonable risk to user safety or user experience, then we may take a more conservative position and stop related ads from running.

For example, we currently don't allow the following:

  • Solicitation of funds or donations by people or organizations who are not politicians, political parties, or tax-exempt charities.
  • Promotion of free desktop software, unless the ad includes the name of the specific software being promoted and leads to the authoritative online distribution source for the software. The authoritative source must not have a history or reputation of policy violations.

We are constantly examining this list and aim to keep it as short as possible. We appreciate your understanding as we strive to keep our users safe.

What you can do

Here's more detail about each violation and what you can do if your ad is disapproved or your site is suspended:

Local legal requirements
  1. Read the policy above to see examples of local laws that you need to follow in order to run ads in those locations. Note that the list above is not exhaustive, so we urge you to do your own research on advertising practices for the places where your business operates and where your ads are showing. Here are some common areas to research:
    • Business or product registration: If required for your location, make sure that your business or product is registered with a local authority in order to be eligible to advertise. See some examples above of registration requirements that you need to know and follow.
    • Regulated products & services: Find out about any restrictions that may apply to your products or services depending on where in the world you promote or sell them. You can see some examples above of restrictions that you need to know and follow.
    You can either target a different location or change your site and ad.
  2. Target a different location. If your ad meets the basic policy requirements but not those for the countries that your campaign targets, you can choose to edit your location targeting to run your ads somewhere else where they do meet our requirements. Once you target your campaign only to acceptable locations, please request a review of your disapproved ads, and we'll check if they can start running:
    Request a review
  3. Remove that content from your landing page. If the site that your ad leads to contains content that we don't allow, please fix the landing page to make it comply. You'll then need to request a site review before moving on to the next step of changing your ad text.
    Review my fixed website

    Or, you can choose to change your destination URL to point to another page of your website that doesn't include this type of content.
  4. Remove that content from your ad. If your ad violates this policy, please edit it to make it comply.
    Take me to my account
    • On your Ads tab, hover over the ad you want to edit.
    • Click the pencil icon next to your ad to edit it.
    • Click Save when you're done.
    Once you edit and save your ad, it gets sent to us for review. Most ads are reviewed within 1 business day, though some can take longer if they need a more complex review. If we find that you've removed the unacceptable content from your ad and landing page, we can approve your ad to start running.
If you aren't able to fix these violations or choose not to, please remove your ad to help prevent your account from becoming suspended in the future for having too many disapproved ads.
Consumer advisory match

For business areas where consumer advisories are common, ads can be labeled "Approved (limited)" and restricted in when and where they can appear. For example, we'll only show ads for payday loans if "payday loans" or similar terms are included in the users' search query. See how consumer advisories may affect your ad

You might consider changing your keywords to include a descriptive phrase associated with your type of product or service.

Trade sanctions and restricted parties
  1. Read the policy above. We do not allow promotions that violate applicable government trade sanctions. If you're prevented from saving your ad due to sanctions on your website domain, know that you won't be able to advertise that website.
  2. Remove that content from your ad. If your ad violates this policy, please edit it to make it comply.
    Take me to my account
    • On your Ads tab, hover over the ad you want to edit.
    • Click the pencil icon next to your ad to edit it.
    • Click Save when you're done.
    Once you edit and save your ad, it gets sent to us for review. Most ads are reviewed within 1 business day, though some can take longer if they need a more complex review. If we find that you've removed the unacceptable content from your ad and landing page, we can approve your ad to start running.
If you aren't able to fix these violations or choose not to, please remove your ad to help prevent your account from becoming suspended in the future for having too many disapproved ads.
Unsupported content
  1. Read the policy above to learn about the types of content that we don't allow.

        Solicitation of funds or donations
    • If you're soliciting tax-exempt donations, please change your landing page to clearly indicate your tax-exempt status, including your charity number.
    • If you're soliciting political donations that aren't tax-exempt, please change your landing page to clearly indicate that the donation is not tax-exempt.
    • In all other cases, don't solicit money or donations in your ad or on your site.
        Free desktop software
    • You can promote free desktop software only if your ad leads to the authoritative online distribution source of that software. Also make sure that your ad includes the name of the specific software.
    • If you are the publisher of the specific software the your ad promotes, apply to register your site as the authoritative distribution source. We'll review your application and see if we can approve your disapproved ads.
    • If your ad leads to a site that's not the authoritative online distribution source, you won't be able to promote free desktop software.
  2. Remove that content from your landing page. If the site that your ad leads to contains content that we don't allow, please fix the landing page to make it comply. You'll then need to request a site review before moving on to the next step of changing your ad text.
    Review my fixed website

    Or, you can choose to change your destination URL to point to another page of your website that doesn't include this type of content.
  3. Remove that content from your ad. If your ad violates this policy, please edit it to make it comply.
    Take me to my account
    • On your Ads tab, hover over the ad you want to edit.
    • Click the pencil icon next to your ad to edit it.
    • Click Save when you're done.
    Once you edit and save your ad, it gets sent to us for review. Most ads are reviewed within 1 business day, though some can take longer if they need a more complex review. If we find that you've removed the unacceptable content from your ad and landing page, we can approve your ad to start running.
If you aren't able to fix these violations or choose not to, please remove your ad to help prevent your account from becoming suspended in the future for having too many disapproved ads.

What happens if you violate our policies

  • 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 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.

Need help?

If you have questions about this policy, let us know:
Contact AdWords Support

Tell us what you think

Rate how helpful this page is and share your feedback with us below:

How helpful is this article:

Feedback recorded. Thanks!
  • Not at all helpful
  • Not very helpful
  • Somewhat helpful
  • Very helpful
  • Extremely helpful