Our new policy to help guide advertisers and build trust with users

August 31, 2023

Today we’re announcing a new approach to improving ad clarity—a policy called Limited Ads Serving—that will both reduce the risk of scams and help prevent confusing and misleading ads. Under this policy, we’ll begin implementing a get-to-know-you period for advertisers we are less familiar with, during which impressions for their ads might be limited. To start, this policy will apply to those advertisers when they target certain brands with their ad campaigns. For example, we’d implement this policy when the relationship between an advertiser and a brand referenced in their ad is unclear. This is an area where we especially want to ensure users have a clear understanding of who they are dealing with when they interact with an ad.

Imagine someone is looking to book their next trip and searches for their favorite airline’s flights to San Francisco. Under this new approach, the vast majority of ads they see related to that search would be from advertisers like the airline itself, competing airlines, hotels in the area, and other advertisers with a history of policy compliance and transparency. Advertisers without this record of good behavior might have their impressions limited under this policy as they build their track record on our platform. While we want to allow users the opportunity to interact with relevant and helpful ads, this policy will reduce the chance that they'll see a misleading or confusing ad from an advertiser with an unproven track record. 

This policy will help ensure new, well-intentioned advertisers start to build up user trust before their campaigns have full reach, and it will be an added tool to help curb the reach of bad actors. Advertisers that are meaningfully impacted by this policy will be notified and provided with suggested guidance to reach qualified status. As with any new approach, we will start small and gradually expand enforcement.

We also provide advertisers with simple tips they can incorporate into their campaigns to create clear ads—like pinning their domain to the title of the ad, especially if they are not a widely known brand on the internet.

As with all of our policies, it’s important we are transparent with our advertising partners on how we make decisions. When gauging an advertiser’s track record on our platform, we’ll consider a number of criteria including: 

  • User feedback: Our users are able to provide feedback on every ad they are served on our platform, based on whether they had a positive or negative experience with that ad. We’ll take that feedback into account. 
  • Advertising history: It’s important that advertisers have a record of adhering to our advertising policies.
  • Advertiser Identity Verification: Completing our Advertiser Identity Verification process is an important step in building trust between users and advertisers. 

It’s also important to us that we keep our platform open to new advertisers and give them the opportunity to deliver a helpful experience. This policy won’t block or remove any ad from our platform, and any limitations on an ad will only apply in certain scenarios like when a user could be confused by an advertiser's brand identity. We’ll be rolling out this policy gradually and making adjustments to ensure it’s working effectively.  

Posted by Alejandro Borgia, Director, Product Management, Ads Safety

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