The impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is evolving every day and we are working hard to maintain a safe advertising ecosystem for users, advertisers and publishers. This page provides important information and updates on measures that we are taking to prevent abuse related to coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Advertisers must follow Google Ads policies when serving coronavirus disease (COVID-19) related content, in particular our sensitive events policy, which prohibits any content that seeks to capitalise on the pandemic, or lacks reasonable sensitivity towards this global health crisis.
We will continue to evaluate the situation to both address new products/services that are being used to exploit users, as well as re-enable certain products/services when the situation stabilises.
We will update this page as the situation evolves. Please check this page for updates on how Google Ads is addressing the situation to ensure a safe and positive experience for users.
[22 September 2021] More Covid-related products allowed on Shopping]
As of September, we are relaxing the restrictions for certain coronavirus (COVID-19) related products on Shopping ads and free listings. Products like clothing, test kits and home goods, etc. that were previously disapproved due to the COVID-19-sensitive event are now eligible to serve on Shopping ads and free listings.
As a result of this change, at-home COVID-19 test kits are now permitted on Shopping ads and free listings. Only test kits that are authorised by the FDA or your local governing body will be allowed. We will accept test kits where the sample is collected and analysed at home, or test kits where the sample is collected at home and then sent to a lab for analysis. In alignment with our medical devices policy, all products must also adhere to the specific legal requirements of the countries where they are offered.
[31 August 2021] Update on which types of masks can be listed in Shopping ads and free listings
Google will allow the listing of certain respirator face masks by approved merchants and suppliers on our shopping platforms. N95 masks will be approved to be listed in the US only. N95-adjacent masks (KN95, FFP2 and KF94) will be approved to be listed globally. Merchants and suppliers will need to apply for approval before they can list their offers in order to mitigate the risk of counterfeit masks being sold. The application process for both paths will require merchants and suppliers to provide business and product information for review. You can apply here for N95 listing approval via Project N95 and apply here for N95-adjacent listing approval via LegitScript.
[28 July 2021] Expanding access to personalised advertising
In April 2021, we enabled a limited number of government organisations to promote COVID-19 content that complies with our Personalised Advertising policy. This included general COVID-19 vaccine information, updates on the latest COVID-19 protocols and more broadly, critical business updates for customers.
We are now expanding this access for government organisations, including recognised and official government ministries, departments, agencies or offices. These government entities or organisations are now eligible to run policy compliant COVID-19 personalised ads.
We will continue to evaluate our policy and enforcement processes in the coming months, to slowly phase in more advertisers.
[29 April 2021] Enabling permissible personalised ads content
In order to ensure that our users have access to information related to preventing COVID-19, some entities will now be eligible to run personalised ads for COVID-19 related content that complies with our Personalised Advertising policy. This includes general COVID-19 vaccine information, updates on the latest COVID-19 safety protocols and more broadly, critical business updates for customers.
All COVID-19 content in personalised ads had been blocked under our Sensitive Events policy. Normally preventative health content, including information on vaccines, is generally allowed under personalised ads policy. With this update, personalised ads will now be available to a subset of entities to promote this policy compliant COVID-19 content. We will continue to prohibit personalisation based on personal health content, which includes content associated with one’s personal health information or status. This is always prohibited under Google’s standard Personalised Advertising policy.
We will initially allow personalised ads from a limited number of government organisations who want to spread relevant information to the public. We will slowly phase in more advertisers, including healthcare providers, non-governmental organisations, intergovernmental organisations, verified election ads advertisers and managed private sector accounts with a history of policy compliance, over the coming months while we continue to evaluate our policy and enforcement processes.
[4 March 2021] Updating our policy on mask restrictions
Advertisers can now promote surgical and all other non-N95 (and equivalent) masks. We will still prohibit the sale of N95, KN95, FFP2, FFP3, PFF2, PFF3 and KF94 masks due to global PPE shortages for healthcare professionals.
[15 June 2020] Restricting the sale of masks that may be vital for healthcare workers during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak:
We are enforcing a temporary restriction on masks that may be vital for healthcare workers during the COVID-19 response to prevent advertising that may capitalise on coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This decision is to prevent global supply shortages on products which are essential to navigate COVID-19, based on our 'sensitive events policy' under inappropriate content policy.
We will allow advertisements for the sale of masks that are made solely of cloth. Masks that contain additional features or devices may not be allowed.
We are also taking additional steps to prevent artificially inflated prices that limit or prohibit access to other essential items on Google’s network.
[30 March 2020] Updating our sensitive events policy:
In March 2020, we clarified that any 'public health emergency' will be treated as a sensitive event. For more information, please see the 'sensitive events policy' under inappropriate content policy.
Advertiser eligibility to serve Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) related ads:
In order to ensure our users have access to essential information while navigating coronavirus disease (COVID-19), some entities are now eligible to run coronavirus disease (COVID-19) related ads.
We are currently allowing ads from government organisations, healthcare providers, non-governmental organisations, intergovernmental organisations, verified election ads advertisers and managed private sector accounts with a history of policy compliance who want to get relevant information out to the public. We are continuing to evaluate our policy and enforcement processes as the situation evolves to phase in more advertisers in the coming weeks.
Ensuring the privacy of our users:
We will ensure the privacy and safety of our users by continuing to prohibit audience targeting on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) related content based on personalised ads policy.
Protecting our extended workforce and community:
We are taking steps to prioritise the well-being of our employees, extended workforce and the communities where they live, including reducing in-office staffing on certain sites. This may result in some delays while we provide support to our users, advertisers and publishers.
The World Health Organization website has up-to-date information and guidance regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation is evolving every day, and we're committed to providing you updates, including any changes that may impact our processes and support systems.
To stay informed on how you may be impacted by these changes, continue to check this article. We’ll update it on a regular basis.
We are working hard to quickly remove ads that violate our policies, including those that discourage people from seeking medical treatment or claim harmful substances have health benefits.
If you find ad content that violates this policy, please report it. Instructions for reporting violations of our policies are available here.