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Advertiser-friendly content guidelines

YouTube is where the world chooses to watch video. With the most current, comprehensive, and compelling video library on the web uploaded by a diverse set of creators from around the world, YouTube is also where thousands of brands come to connect with their audiences.

All videos uploaded to YouTube must comply with YouTube’s Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. To be eligible for advertising, videos must comply with the AdSense Program Policies. YouTube also reserves the right, at its discretion, to not show ads on videos and watch pages—including ads from certain advertisers or certain formats. This article provides some guidance about our policies and best practices to ensure your videos are eligible for advertising.

We aren’t telling you what to create—each and every creator on YouTube is unique and contributes to the vibrancy of YouTube. However, advertisers also have a choice about where to show their ads. As with everything related to YouTube, use your common sense, don’t abuse the site, and be respectful of others.

Content that is not eligible for advertising

YouTube uses technology and policy enforcement processes to determine if a video is eligible for advertising. We continually work hard to make our algorithms as accurate as possible and to understand nuances, including for categories like music, gaming, and news. Our intention is to treat each video based on context, including content that is clearly comedic, educational, or satirical in nature.

If the following describes any portion of your video or video metadata, including the title, thumbnail or tags, then the video may not be eligible for advertising under the AdSense Program Policies. In some cases, YouTube may also choose not to show ads from all advertisers or all ad formats.
  • Controversial issues and sensitive events: Video content that features or focuses on sensitive topics or events including, but not limited to, war, political conflicts, terrorism or extremism, death and tragedies, sexual abuse, even if graphic imagery is not shown, is generally not eligible for ads. For example, videos about recent tragedies, even if presented for news or documentary purposes, may not be eligible for advertising given the subject matter.
  • Drugs and dangerous products or substances: Video content that promotes or features the sale, use, or abuse of illegal drugs, regulated drugs or substances, or other dangerous products is not eligible for advertising. Videos discussing drugs or dangerous substances for educational, documentary, and artistic purposes are generally eligible for advertising, so long as drug use or substance abuse is not graphic or glorified.
  • Harmful or dangerous acts: Video content that promotes harmful or dangerous acts that result in serious physical, emotional, or psychological injury is not eligible for advertising. Some examples include videos depicting painful or invasive surgical or cosmetic procedures, or pranks involving sexual harassment or humiliation.
  • Hateful content: Video content that promotes discrimination or disparages or humiliates an individual or group of people on the basis of the individual’s or group’s race, ethnicity or ethnic origin, nationality, religion, disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalization is not eligible for advertising. Content that is satire or comedy may be exempt; however, simply stating your comedic intent is not sufficient and that content may still not be eligible for advertising.
  • Inappropriate language: Video content that contains frequent uses of strong profanity or vulgarity throughout the video may not be eligible for advertising. Occasional use of profanity won’t necessarily result in your video being ineligible for advertising, but context matters.
  • Inappropriate use of family entertainment characters: Videos depicting family entertainment characters or content, whether animated or live action, engaged in violent, sexual, vile, or otherwise inappropriate behavior, even if done for comedic or satirical purposes, are not eligible for advertising.
  • Incendiary and demeaning: Video content that is gratuitously incendiary, inflammatory, or demeaning may not be eligible for advertising. For example, video content that shames or insults an individual or group may not be eligible for advertising.
  • Sexually suggestive content: Video content that features highly sexualized content, such as video content where the focal point is nudity, body parts, or sexual simulations, is not eligible for advertising. Content that features sex toys, sexual devices, or explicit conversation about sex may also not be eligible for advertising, with limited exceptions for non-graphic sexual education videos.
  • Violence: Video content where the focal point is on blood, violence, or injury, when presented without additional context, is not eligible for advertising. Violence in the normal course of video gameplay is generally acceptable for advertising, but montages where gratuitous violence is the focal point is not. If you're showing violent content in a news, educational, artistic, or documentary context, that additional context is important.

We  also offer a number of content and audience targeting tools that advertisers can use to control where their ads appear on YouTube.

If you think we've disabled ads on your video in error, learn how to appeal videos marked “not advertiser friendly.”

Best practices for creating advertiser-friendly content

In addition to the policies and guidelines above, here are some tips to help ensure that your content is appropriate for advertising:

  • Do be respectful of others, including your viewers and the people or groups that you may feature in your video. 
  • Do use accurate thumbnails and metadata. Regardless of the content of your video, if the title or thumbnail does not comply with these guidelines, the video may not be eligible for advertising.
  • Don't embed your own ads in your video since it violates our ad policies. Learn more about paid product placement policy.

Context is key. If your video contains potentially controversial or offensive content, give your viewers enough information to help them understand what they're seeing. You can also help us understand if your content is suitable for advertising by providing additional context.

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