In March 2021, the Google Ads Adult content policy will be updated to restrict sexually suggestive live streaming, sexually suggestive live chat, sexually suggestive role playing games, and general dating with sexually suggestive elements and themes. These content categories are still allowed, but will serve on a restricted basis. Advertisers promoting this content may notice an impact to their campaigns.
Additionally, we’ll be making editorial changes to the policy for improved clarity and understanding. These changes will not negatively impact advertiser campaigns and will include:
- Changing the title of the policy to “Sexual content.” All references to “Adult content” policy within Google ads policies will be updated to “Sexual content.”
- Breaking out current “Adult” and “Non-family safe” categories into more nuanced content categories.
- Updating titles, descriptions, and examples for the more nuanced categories.
We will begin enforcing the policy update on March 29, 2021, with full enforcement ramping up over approximately four weeks.
The updated Sexual content policy will read as follows:
Strongly restricted categories
Ads that feature or promote the following types of sexual content are strongly restricted. They will only serve based on the following conditions:
- The user’s age, the local laws where the ad is being served, and the user’s SafeSearch settings.
- The user’s sexual content Search queries.
People or representations of people that display exposed intimate body parts, including representations that are blurred or censored
- Examples: Visible genitalia, female breasts, or buttocks
Sexual encounter dating
Dating explicitly motivated by sexual encounters
- Examples: Swinger sites, hook-up or fling dating
Moderately restricted categories
Ads that feature or promote the following types of sexual content are restricted. They will only serve based on the following conditions:
The user’s age, the local laws where the ad is being served, and the user’s SafeSearch settings.
People or representations of people that display partially exposed intimate body parts
- Examples: Lower or outer curve of the female breast exposed, majority of buttocks exposed
Sexualized theme dating
Dating explicitly motivated in terms of sexual themes
- Examples: Affair dating, sexual fetish dating
Sale of merchandise that's intended to enhance sexual activity
- Examples: Sex toys, lubricants, aphrodisiacs, sexual enhancers, sexual fetish lingerie
Online or offline sexually suggestive entertainment
- Examples: Strip clubs, adult movie festivals, sexually suggestive live streaming or live chat, sexually suggestive role playing games
Mature cosmetic procedures
Cosmetic services and plastic surgery focused on intimate body parts
- Examples: Female breast augmentation, penis enlargement surgery, vaginal laser rejuvenation, buttock implants, pubic hair grooming
Sexually suggestive elements and themes
Text, images, audio, or video that can be interpreted as suggesting sexual intent or being sexually evocative. Content containing sexually suggestive poses or postures.
- Examples: Lewd or sexual language, images featuring legs spread open, touching covered intimate body parts, mimicking sexual positions or movements, dating for general audiences that includes more sexually suggestive imagery
Sexually suggestive live streaming, live chat, and role playing games will be restricted under “Sexual entertainment.” General dating with sexually suggestive elements and themes will be restricted under “Sexually suggestive elements and themes.” When these policy changes go into effect on March 29, advertisers promoting these content categories in ads and destinations will see the following effects:
- New in-scope ads will be marked Approved (Limited) and will serve as “Moderately restricted” content. This was previously referred to as “Non-family safe.”
- Because these content categories are restricted, they won’t serve in certain countries or on certain ad platforms, networks, or formats. These are existing standards and not changing on March 29.
- There will be ramp up time for enforcement and all ads in-scope of the policy may not be labeled immediately when the change goes into effect.
Please review this policy update to determine whether or not any of your ads fall in scope of the policy changes and be aware that in-scope ads will begin to be restricted on March 29, 2021. To prevent your ads and destinations from being moderately restricted when the change goes into effect, you may want to remove any sexual content from live streaming, live chat, role playing games, and general audience dating promotions.
Violations of this policy will not lead to immediate account suspension without prior warning. A warning will be issued, at least 7 days, prior to any suspension of your account.
(Posted on January 25, 2021)