As a retailer, you are always responsible for ensuring that you comply with all applicable laws and regulations, in addition to Google’s Shopping ads policies. The guidelines below are intended to help highlight some areas where we’ve seen retailers run afoul of legal requirements in the past. However, this is not an exhaustive list of legal issues you may need to consider, and you must do your own research regarding appropriate promotional practices for the place where your business operates, as well as for any other places where your listings are showing.
In cases where you are promoting products that appear to violate local laws or regulations, we may notify you that your ads or free listings appear to violate legal requirements and are therefore not showing. We generally err on the side of caution in applying this policy because we don’t want to allow content of questionable legality.
As with all violations of our Shopping ads policies, when we find content that violates these requirements, we may block it from appearing, and in cases of repeated or egregious violations, we may ban you from promoting products with us.
See below for some examples of areas where promotions may be in violation of local legal requirements:
Regulated products: A variety of restrictions may apply to your product depending on where in the world you promote or sell it. You should make sure you understand any restrictions that apply to the products you are promoting. Some examples include the following:
- Infant food products in India
- Radar detection products in France, Belgium, or Germany
- Scientology in Germany or France
- Gender determination in India
- Information products with no age rating in Russia. Refer to the
titleattribute in the feed specification for specific details on how to comply with this requirement.
- Military equipment in South Korea
- Non-registered cell phones in South Korea
- Religious content promoting conversion in Vietnam
Recalled products: Google may disapprove items that have been subject to recall by the manufacturer or these government agencies:
Safety standards restrictions
In addition to restricting regulated and recalled products, we also ban or limit certain kinds of products that might pose an unreasonable risk to health, safety, or property. For example, we have safety restrictions around the sale of hazardous materials and the transportation of live animals. We may disapprove items that violate health and safety standards or other regulatory standards.
What you can do
Here's what you can do if your product is disapproved or if your Merchant Center account is impacted:
Items that don't comply with this policy may be disapproved. When an item is disapproved, it won't be eligible to show on Shopping ads or free listings.
Follow the directions below to see all your affected products:
- Sign in to your Merchant Center account.
- Select Products on the navigation menu, then select Diagnostics.
- Select the "Item issues" tab to see current issues affecting your products.
To download a list (.csv) of all affected products for all issues:
- Select the download icon next to the filter icon , beneath the graph and above the list of issues.
To download a list (.csv) of all affected products for a particular issue:
- Find the issue under the “Issue” column, then select the download icon at the end of the row.
To see a list of up to 50 products with this particular issue:
- Find the issue under the “Issue” column, then select View samples in the “Affected items” column.
- Find the relevant example and select the link in the "Reference" column to access the relevant recall report.
If the item doesn't comply with Shopping ads policies, it should be removed from your product data.
However, if you believe that your item was incorrectly disapproved and would like to request a manual review, follow the directions below in your Merchant Center account:
- Select the title of the item in the List section of the "Products" page to view the individual product details.
- Under "Item status", select Request review.
- Review the policies related to your item disapproval and then check the box that acknowledges that you reviewed the information.
- Select Request manual review.
Items that don't comply with this policy may be disapproved. When an item is disapproved, it won't be eligible to show in Shopping ads or free listings. If the item doesn't comply with Shopping ads policies, it should be removed from your product data.
In some instances, you’ll see the option to request a review of an item that has been disapproved for policy violations. If you believe that your item was incorrectly disapproved and would like to request a manual review, follow these instructions.
For most violations, we'll send you a warning email detailing the policy violation and give you 7 calendar days to update your product data.
- Read the policy above to learn what we don't allow. Here are some examples:
- Hazardous material: Make sure your product data doesn’t contain any of the examples listed in the policy above, including hazardous material and products that violate health & safety standards or other regulatory standards.
- Live animals: Make sure your product data doesn’t contain any of the examples listed in the policy above, including live animals or transportation of live animals.
- Remove the violating items from your product data. You’ll receive an email with details about the violation, including examples from your product data. If you have additional products in your data that violate the same policy but aren't included in the email, you'll need to remove those too.
- Update your product data in Merchant Center.
- If you created a schedule for automatic uploads, update your product data manually or wait for your product data to be automatically updated before requesting a review.
- Product data that you’ve uploaded as a test won’t go live and isn’t considered during account reviews.
- Request a review of your account.
- If your account is still within the warning period, it will automatically be reviewed again at the end of the warning period. Once the violating products are removed, you don't need to request an account review or take any additional action.
- If your account is suspended, you’ll need to request an account review via the “Request review” button located on the “Account Issues” tab in Diagnostics in your Merchant Center account.
Most accounts are reviewed within 3 business days, but some can take longer if they need a more complex review. If we find that you've removed the violating products from your product data, we’ll remove the warning, or, in the case of account suspension, we'll approve your account to start running.