About the creative review process

Creatives added to Display & Video 360 go through an approval process to make sure they're safe and appropriate for users. Each creative is reviewed to make sure the creative works properly and is compliant with the technical and content policies of Display & Video 360 and exchanges.

How it works

  1. Whenever you add a new creative it is automatically submitted for review when you save it.
  2. If any issues are found during review, the creative is rejected, and feedback is provided with information on what you can do to get your creative approved. Rejected creatives cannot serve.
  3. If your creative is approved, it can start serving.
  4. After a creative is assigned to an active line item, it may be subject to additional review by Google and other exchanges.
  5. When you make changes to an existing creative, your creative is automatically submitted for review, and the process begins again.

Creative reviews are recurring and can happen at any time while the creative is active.

Note: TrueView videos go through a different creative review process than other creative types.

Creatives can serve while being reviewed

  • Serving can start after creative and landing page review, as long as the creative isn't rejected.
  • Serving continues during the rest of the review process, and only stops if the creative is rejected.
Exchanges with a creative review process

The following exchanges have a creative review process in all regions:

  • AppNexus
  • Google Ad Manager
  • BrightRoll Exchange
What do Display & Video 360 and other exchanges review?

Creatives are reviewed by Display & Video 360's creative review team and by other ad exchanges that have their own review process. At a minimum, each creative is checked for:

  • Malware
  • Fourth-party calls
  • HTTP cookies
  • Technology declarations
  • Landing page quality, language, and content
  • Flash
  • SSL compliance
  • Restricted categories
  • Other policy compliance concerns

For more information, see Google Ads' content policies and Exchange-specific requirements.

Reasons the creative review process restarts

Any update to creative content or landing page will restart the creative review process. (This includes changes to assets, landing page URLs, tracking URLs, and appended HTML.) Keep this in mind when you're making edits to more than one creative assigned to the same line item. If you make a change to every creative assigned to a line item, that line item won't have any servable creatives for up to 8 hours or more.
For creative formats that support drafts, the creative review process will restart when you publish. Creating or saving a draft won't restart creative review.

Changes that don't restart creative review

  • Creating or saving a draft
  • Editing the creative's name
  • Adding or editing notes

Check if a creative is approved

  1. Open an advertiser, then click Creatives in the left menu.
  2. Find the "Display & Video 360 status" column. If the status is "Pending, servable" or "Approved, servable", creative and landing page review is complete and the creative can serve on Ad Manager and all exchanges that don't have their own review process.
  3. If your creative is assigned to a line item that's bidding on an exchange with its own creative review process, check the "Exchange status" column. This status reports which exchanges have approved or rejected the creative. If your creative isn't assigned to a line item that targets an exchange, the status will always be pending for that exchange.
  4. To get more detail about each status, hover your mouse over it. For more information, click See details. This will open the creative's details page and take you to the audit information panel.
  5. Click to expand "Creative and landing page review".
    • If a creative's approval status is "Pending, not servable", check the review start time. Add 8 hours to the start time to get an estimate of when the creative may be ready to serve.
    • If a creative's approval status is "Rejected, not servable", you'll see feedback about why the creative was rejected and how to fix it. How to fix rejected creatives
Please wait until at least 24 hours after the review start time before you contact support. The support team is unable to take any action on tickets for creatives that have been in review for less than 24 hours.
 
Don't see a review start time? The review start time will only appear on creatives updated after October 8, 2019. For older creatives, it will appear the next time the creative is updated.

Approval status

A creative's approval status is divided into two categories: Display & Video 360 status and Exchange status. Learn what each status means below.

Display & Video 360 status

Display & Video 360 and Ad Manager reviews are processed at the same time, using the same set of creative content and policy restrictions. Creative reviews can happen at any time while the creative is active. A creative's Display & Video 360 status represents the basic approval needed for a creative to begin serving.

Display & Video 360 status What it means
 Pending, not servable Your creative is still being reviewed.
 Pending, servable Your creative is approved for serving, but is awaiting additional content and policy review.
 Approved, servable Your creative is approved for serving.
 Rejected, not servable There's an issue with your creative that must be fixed before it can serve.

Exchange status

Exchange status only includes exchanges that have their own review process. If an exchange doesn't require additional review, the creative is sent to those exchanges as soon as it's approved by Display & Video 360.

Exchange status What it means
 Pending Your creative is still being reviewed, or hasn't been sent to the exchanges with their own review process yet.
 Approved Your creative is approved for serving on at least one of the exchanges that requre their own review.
 Rejected Your creative is rejected for serving on at least one exchange.

Stages of creative review

The creative review process has three stages. Each of these stages has its own section in the audit information panel. The review stage that your creative is currently in is automatically expanded. Click on a stage to expand it and get more details.

Stage Description
Stage 1: Creative and landing page review A review of the creative to make sure it behaves properly and includes at least 1 valid landing page. This usually takes less than 8 hours. At a minimum, this review has to be complete before your creative can start serving. Check the review start time to estimate how long it'll take before your creative can begin serving.
Stage 2: Content and policy review Additional review of the creative's content to determine if it meets Display & Video 360 and Google's ad policies. This can only begin after the creative is assigned to an active line item, and typically takes 24 hours. In certain markets (Russia, China) this review may take up to 48 hours. Creatives that include restricted products and services must be reviewed before they can serve.
Stage 3: Exchange reviews Eligible exchanges review the creative based on their own requirements and policies. Learn about creative requirements for exchanges.
Audit status table on the creative details page
The screenshot above shows the audit information panel for an approved creative.

Fix rejected creatives

If your creative doesn't work properly or includes prohibited content, the Display & Video 360 status is Rejected, not servable and the creative cannot serve. The review process will not continue until the issue is fixed.

  1. In the Creatives list, click Rejected, not servable > See details. You'll be taken to the creative's basic details page.
  2. Click Audit information to expand the panel.
  3. Click the review stage with the rejected icon . Review the feedback to understand the problem.
  4. Fix the creative and save your changes. The creative review process will restart. Note: Creative review will not restart if your advertiser has been scheduled for deletion.

For more information about common rejection reasons and how to fix them, follow these guides:

Reviews and rejection reasons for special creative types

Video creatives

Video creatives (VAST/VPAID) have an additional set of validations. Common causes for rejection for video validation include:

  • The creative is not working properly and can’t be previewed in Display & Video 360.
  • The video duration is not found.
  • Multiple video lengths are assigned to a rotation. Exchanges require that each line item has video assets that are approximately the same length (within 10%) in rotation. For Campaign Manager-hosted and third-party hosted videos this can happen if there are videos with different durations (15s and 30s) included in rotation, or if the primary and default assets are different lengths.
  • There is a blank video tag. For Campaign Manager-hosted videos this can happen if there is no active ad associated with the video creative. For third-party hosted videos this can happen if the VAST tag is blank or does not declare a duration.
Creatives synced from Campaign Manager

A creative may be rejected if it's associated with a Campaign Manager placement that…

  • Is inactive
  • Has no assigned creatives
  • Has no assigned ads
  • Is out of the date range set for the campaign
  • Has no valid clickthrough URLs
  • Uses targeting but does not have a default ad
  • Includes tag key-values with macros that aren't supported in Display & Video 360

If you're not sure why your creative is rejected, contact Google Marketing Platform support and please be sure to note your creative's Campaign Manager placement ID.

Creatives assigned to Programmatic Guaranteed deals

Creatives assigned to line items for Programmatic Guaranteed deals must meet Ad Manager policies. In addition, the publisher also reviews the creative to make sure it meets their own policies and specifications. If a creative assigned to a Programmatic Guaranteed deal does not meet a publisher's requirements, an additional stage, Deals creative rejections, appears in the creative's "Audit information" panel, along with the name of the publisher that rejected the creative. Contact the publisher for details about the required changes.

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