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Misrepresentation

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Use our guided support experience to understand, identify, and fix your Merchant Center issues:

Diagnose your policy issues

This policy applies to Shopping ads and local inventory ads

Our policy

Google doesn't want customers to feel misled by the content promoted in Shopping ads, and that means being upfront, honest, and providing them with the information that they need to make informed decisions. For this reason we don’t allow the following:

  • Promotions that prompt customers to initiate a purchase, download, or other commitment without first providing all relevant information and obtaining the customer’s explicit consent.
  • Promotions that represent you or your products in a way that is not accurate, realistic, and truthful.

Learn more about Building trust with your customers.

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In this article


Examples of what's not allowed

Omission of relevant information

Failure to clearly disclose the payment model and full expense that a user will bear before and after purchase

  • Examples:
    • Pricing of products (total price, currency) may depend on additional conditions impacting the total cost for the user such as,auction pricing, membership fees, contract, payment schemes, additional purchase requirement, creating additional undisclosed payment obligations during payment processing.
    • View the Product data specification attributes on availability, price, tax and shipping for specific guidelines to comply with this policy.

Failure to clearly disclose all related conditions before and after purchase

  • Examples:
    • Missing merchant terms and conditions or shipping information.
    • Return and refund policy that is unclear, missing, or not easily discoverable.

Omitting material information when promoting content as benefiting a charitable or political organization

  • Examples:
    • Failing to display a charity or tax exemption number for charitable donations.
    • Failing to disclose whether political donations are tax exempt or not.

Unavailable promotions

Promising products or promotional offers that aren’t available for users

  • Examples:

    • Promoting products that aren't stocked, promoting a deal that is no longer active, call-to-action in promotion that isn't easily achievable from the landing page.
    • View the Product data specification attributes on availability and price for specific guidelines to comply with this policy.

Misleading or unrealistic promotions

Making false statements about your identity, qualifications, or the promoted product

  • Examples:
    • Claiming to be a certified reseller of goods when not actually certified, using a brand name to drive traffic to a different product on the site.

Using false claims or claims that entice the user with an unlikely result (even if this result is possible) as the likely outcome that a user can expect

  • Examples:
    • "Miracle cures" for medical ailments, such as extreme weight loss products

Falsely implying affiliation with, or endorsement by, another individual, organization, product, or service

  • Examples:
    • Misleading use or mimicry of official government sites, stamps, seals, or agency names

Listings promoting harmful health claims, or content that relates to a current, major health crisis and contradicts authoritative scientific consensus

  • Examples (non-exhaustive):
    • Anti-vaccine advocacy
    • Denial of the existence of medical conditions such as AIDS or Covid-19
    • Gay conversion therapy

Making claims that are proven false and could significantly undermine participation or trust in an electoral or democratic process

  • Examples (non-exhaustive):
    • Information about public voting procedures
    • Political candidate eligibility based on age or birthplace
    • Election results
    • Incorrect claims that a public figure has died, or been involved in an accident

Content or claims that contradict authoritative scientific consensus on climate change

Unacceptable business practices

Hiding or misstating information about the business or product

Note: We may review information from multiple sources, including promotion, website, accounts, and 3rd-party sources, in determining whether a merchant or site is untrustworthy.

  • Examples:
    • Enticing users to part with money or information under false or unclear pretenses, presenting a false identity, business name, or contact information.
    • Charging users for products typically available for free.
    • Sites that are "phishing" for users information.

Deceiving users by hiding or misstating information about the merchant’s business, or product, or service

  • Examples:
    • Impersonating brands or businesses by referencing or modifying the brand content in the ads, URL, destinations or misrepresenting yourself as the brand or business in user interactions.
    • Enticing users to part with money or information through a fictitious business that lacks the qualifications or capacity to provide the advertised products.

Offer destinations that use “phishing” techniques to gather user information

  • Examples:
    • Sites that trick users into revealing their personal information by mimicking a trusted retailer.

We may take action on your account based on the following situations:

  • Adverse regulatory warnings
  • Settlements or rulings about a merchant’s business practices
  • Direct complaints from businesses and other entities about impersonation

We take violations of this policy very seriously. An obvious violation of our Shopping ads policies is a violation so serious that it is unlawful or poses significant harm to our users.

We determine whether a merchant or destination is violating this policy by doing the following:

  • Reviewing information from multiple sources including your product, website, accounts, and third-party sources.
  • If we then find violations of this policy, we’ll suspend your Merchant Center account upon detection and without prior warning and you’ll not be allowed to participate in Shopping ads and free listings again.

What can you do if you believe there’s been an error and you haven’t violated our policy

  • You can submit an appeal and explain why.
  • We only reinstate accounts in compelling circumstances and when there is good reason, so it's important that you take the time to be thorough, accurate, and honest.

What you can do

Here's what you can do if your product is disapproved or if your Merchant Center account is impacted:

 
Product disapproval

Products that don't comply with our policies may be disapproved. When a product is disapproved, it won't be eligible to serve. 

  1. Read our policies to learn what we don't allow.
  2. Update your website. If your ad or listing leads to content that violates a policy, update your website to meet the requirements and be in compliance with our policies.
  3. Remove the violating products from your product data. You’ll receive an email with details about the violation. 
    • If you have products in your product data that violate the policy (or policies), you'll need to remove the offers from your feed.
  4. 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 any reviews.
  5. Request a review of your products or appeal the decision taken on this issue.
    • If the violating products are removed, you won't need to request a review or take any additional action.
    • If you fix your product-level issues by editing your product data via your chosen upload method (such as a file) or directly in Merchant Center, your products will be re-reviewed.
    • For certain issues, you can disagree with the issue but you may need to complete additional steps such as provide an appeal reason and/or upload required documentation.
    • If you use a third-party platform to list your products, you can refer to your third-party if you want to request a review. You won’t be able to do this in Merchant Center.
    • If a review or appeal is successful, the issue will disappear from Merchant Center.
Account disapproval

For most violations, we'll send you a warning email detailing the policy violation and give you 7 or 28 calendar days to fix your issue.

  1. Read our policies to learn what we don't allow.
  2. Update your website. If your ad or listing leads to content that violates a policy, update your website to meet the requirements and be in compliance with our policies.
  3. Remove any violating products from your product data. You’ll receive an email with details about the violation. If you have products in your product data that violate the policy (or policies) you'll need to remove the offers from your feed.
  4. Update your data in Merchant Center.
    • Review your account and submit any missing information or complete any unfinished steps.
    • 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 any reviews.
  5. Request a review of your account or appeal the decision taken on this issue.
    • If your account is still within the warning period, it will automatically be reviewed again at the end of the warning period. If the violating products are removed, you won't need to request an account review or take any additional action.
    • If your account is suspended and you've taken actions to resolve the issue, request an account review.
    • For certain issues, you can disagree with the issue but you may need to complete additional steps such as provide an appeal reason and/or upload required documentation.
    • If you use a third-party platform to list your products, you can refer to your third-party if you want to request a review. You won’t be able to do this in Merchant Center.

Note: Account reviews typically take 7 business days, but may take longer for complex reviews. If you remove violating products, the warning will be removed. If a review or appeal is successful, the issue will disappear from Merchant Center. In the case of account suspension, we will approve the account and allow products to be displayed again.

Account issue that limits product visibility

Your account has an issue and is operating with reserved functionality, therefore your products have limited visibility. An email was sent with a notice on what to do and the steps needed to resolve your account issue.

  1. Read our policies to learn more about our requirements.
  2. Update your website. If your ad or listing leads to content that violates a policy, update your website to meet the requirements and be in compliance with our policies.
  3. Fix any other open policy violation in your account. Review your products and your account details.
    • If products aren’t supported, remove them from your feed.
    • If account details are missing, complete them in Merchant Center.
  4. Request a review of your account or appeal the decision taken on this issue.
    • If your Merchant Center account is still within the warning period for certain policies, it will automatically be reviewed again at the end of the warning period.
    • If your account is affected and you've resolved the issue, request a Merchant Center account review.
    • For certain issues, you can disagree with the issue but you may need to complete additional steps such as provide an appeal reason and/or upload required documentation.
    • If you use a third-party platform to list your products, you can refer to your third-party if you want to request a review. You won’t be able to do this in Merchant Center.

Note: Account reviews typically take 7 business days, but may take longer for complex reviews. If you remove violating products, the warning will be removed. If a review or appeal is successful, the issue will disappear from Merchant Center. In the case of account suspension, we will approve the account and allow products to be displayed again.

To ensure a safe and positive experience for customers, Google requires that retailers comply with all applicable laws and regulations in addition to our policies. It's important that you familiarize yourself with and keep up to date on these requirements for the place where your business operates, as well as any other places your ads are shown. When we find content that violates these requirements, we may block it from appearing. In cases of repeated or egregious violations, we may ban you from advertising content with us.

Note: It’s not recommended to delete your suspended account and create a new one for the same business. Deleting an account won’t fix the suspension issue, it’ll be flagged again as the newly created account may also be suspended.
If you’re working with a third-party platform, some of these instructions may not apply to you. Refer to your third-party platform for instructions on how to resolve the issue and request a review. Learn how to find support if you use a non-Google platform.

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