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Other restricted businesses

When people click on your ads, we want to make sure that they won’t be exploited or deceived. We don’t allow advertisers to promote untrustworthy business practices.

Below are some examples of what to avoid in your ads.

If you think your ad was incorrectly disapproved, you can request a review with the Disapproved ads and policy questions form.

Unsupported business

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 don't currently allow the following:

  • Solicitation of funds or donations by people or organisations 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.

How to fix: Unsupported business
  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.
    • Examples of free desktop software as used in this policy: Executable files (such as .exe, .dmg, zipped files, extensions, plug-ins, add-ons, desktop applications) that can run on desktop computers, laptops or notebooks and do not require payment info to download. This applies to free software downloads such as free trials, freeware, shareware, freemium software and demos that offer downloadable content.

    • If you are the publisher of the specific software that 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 your ad leads to content that we don't allow, remove all content that doesn’t comply with this policy. You'll then need to request a review before moving on to the next step of changing your ad text.

    Or, you can choose to change your final URL to point to another part of your website or app that doesn't include this type of content.
  3. Remove that content from your ad.

    If your ad violates this policy, edit it to make it comply.

    • On your Ads page, hover over the ad you want to edit.
    • Click the pencil icon next to your ad to edit it.
    • Click on Save when you've finished.

    Once you edit and save your ad, it's sent to us for review. Most ads are reviewed within 1 working 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 its destination, 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 advisories

For business areas where consumer advisories are common, Google may limit how ads about those products and services are served.
  • Example: Penny auctions (AdWords will only show penny auction ads if the phrase "penny auction" or similar terms are included in the user's query. On the Google Display Network, these ads will be shown only on sites related to auctions.)

What is a consumer advisory?

Consumer advisories are alerts that provide information about the risks and benefits of certain products and services. These alerts are typically distributed by organisations that help protect consumers. Examples of organisations that issue consumer advisories are the Federal Trade Commission (US), the Office of Fair Trading (UK), the Consumer Affairs Agency (Japan) and other regional agencies that help protect consumers' interests. Consumer advisory organisations may be regulated by the government, but they may also be run by third-party consumer advocacy groups.

How do consumer advisories affect ads?

If a consumer advisory is issued about a certain product in one country, Google may change how ads about that product are served globally. This allows users to still see ads related to these kinds of products when specifically searching for them, but protects other users who might be unaware of the consumer concerns about similar products.

What happens if you violate our policies

Ad or extension disapproval: Ads and extensions that don't follow this policy may be disapproved. A disapproved ad won't run until the policy violation is fixed and the ad is approved.

Site suspension: We may suspend websites that violate our policies, meaning that the website can no longer be advertised until the problem is fixed.

Account suspension: An account may be 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 be permanently suspended and your new accounts may be automatically suspended at set-up. Learn more about suspended accounts.

Follow local laws: To ensure a safe and positive experience for users, Google requires that advertisers comply with all applicable laws and regulations in addition to the Google AdWords policies. It's important to 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 serious violations, you may no longer be able to advertise with Google.

Need help?

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

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