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Google Pulling Back Ad Restrictions For YouTube

Google announced that they are lifting some restrictions on YouTube mastheads ads. That means that advertisers who have been limited with their ad publishing until now, can finally publish ads in the following categories:

  1. Sports betting (US Only)

  2. Alcohol (where legal)

  3. Prescription drugs (US, CA, NZ)

Categories for election and political ads, as well as non-sports gambling, remain restricted.

“We’re constantly reviewing our ad requirements to improve our products and services. Given the evolving regulatory landscape for sports betting and following our successful implementation of our new “per market” YouTube masthead format, we believe that this decision balances the needs of advertisers and consumers.” -Google’s spokesperson said.

YouTube mastheads are the ads that users see at the top of the YouTube homepage. Since it’s the most prominent placement, the ads there must comply with all Google Ads policies and YouTube ad requirements.

However, the masthead ad content requirements are much more restrictive than the ad requirements on other platforms. So, even if an ad has been denied for the masthead placement, it can still run somewhere else on Google.

Ad Requirements for YouTube

As mentioned, ad content must comply with certain requirements. Here’s what ad content is prohibited on YouTube:

  1. Exaggerated or inaccurate claims – exaggerated or false claims for a product or a service that misleads people

  2. Offensive language – obscene or offensive language, derogatory language that incites hatred, discrimination, racism

  3. Negative events and imagery – mentally distressing, disturbing, scary content, death, decay, etc. This also means no videos of people weeping at funerals, excessively gory content, dangerous challenges, etc. There are exceptions for movies, TV shows, news channels, etc.

  4. Improper content – focusing on specific body parts or health conditions, nudity, racy and sexually suggestive topics. There are some limitations to ads for weight loss, hair loss, skin conditions, swimwear, etc.

Why Is This Important?

Masthead ads are one of many YouTube and Google advertising formats and only a small portion of YouTube’s daily ad impressions. All of the previously restricted categories above can now select that placement for their ads, giving them more choice and options for their ads.