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Cheatsheet to what you can, and cannot, advertise online

We bring to you list of prohibited and restricted ad contents on various social and search platform which

India TV Tech Desk India TV Tech Desk
New Delhi Published on: September 18, 2019 15:05 IST
digital marketing

List of prohibited and restricted advertising contents on major social media and search platforms


Apart from creating good advertisement campaigns, online marketers in the digital space should also be aware and learned about prohibitions and restriction on ads across various social media and search engine platforms. While most prohibited content or restricted contents are standard across various platforms, the rules of handling contents differ on different platforms. Online advertisers face the issue of delay after creating advertising content and listing it because of delay in approval from the platforms.

If marketers have a clear idea about the policies regarding advertising on the various social media platform, the process of creating effective targeted advertisement can be given pace.

There are some standard rules regarding prohibited content which includes no promoting counterfeit goods, tobacco, illegal products or services, no promotions that include trademark or copyright infringement or fraudulent and deceptive practices. The rules in respect to ads that can be run with certain limitation known as restricted ad content vary from platform to platform. While some of the plaforms have a lineant set of rules to follow, some are very particular about their policies with respect to the advertisement on their website. We bring to you a list that will help digital marketers get a fair idea about advertisement guidelines on various platforms.


Google has been trying to make advertisemnet process on its platform a simple affair. In a bid towards making it more easy to understand Google recently simplified and standardized its content policy. Without actually making any change in its current advertisement policies in terms of allowing or disallowing advertisements it simply standardized and rearranged its policies for a better understanding for the marketers. It has now pointed out an overview of the products that fall in the category of prohibited or restricted ads.

Prohibited ads on Google's platform include counterfeit goods, dangerous products or services, Ads that enable dishonest behavior and Inappropriate content. 
The list of restricted items on the platform has the usual standards that include adult content, alcohol, copyrights, gambling games, healthcare and medicines, political content, financial services, and trademarks. Apart from this, the ads should also be in the line of laws of the land.
Google also outlined its policy in terms of advertising practices it disallows on its platform. It disallows practices of abusing of ad network, misinterpretation and data collection, and use.


In addition to the usual standard list of prohibted ad content including no ads promoting illegal products or services, tobacco products or firearms and weapons. Ads of surveillance equipment or any third party infringements, Facebook also disallows ads that lead to a non-functional page. It also blocks advertisement for payday loans, paycheck advancement services or bail bonds. But one unusual appearance on the list is of advertisement selling body parts.

For restricted content, advertisers wanting to promote online dating services must receive permission from the platform before running ads, same with political and issue-related ads and cryptocurrency products and services. Promotions around gambling, state lotteries, OTC drugs, and online pharmacies also come with restrictions.


Microsoft has one of the most detailed and complexed policy when it comes to laying guidelines of ad contents on the platform
restricted and disallowed content policy page on Microsoft's official website gives a broader outline of the items and policies that are restricted to be advertised on the platform.  Talking about Microsoft's policies with respect to ads, it doesn't allow any political or religious content on its platform.
Microsoft disallows the sale of any illegal items or products such as alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and weapons including knives firearms and ammunition. The policy might also differ from country to country, in countries like India, Brazil and Vietnam advertisements promoting the sale or use of formula, feeding bottles, rubber nipples or baby food of any kind is not allowed.


Twitter has one of the most eased out policies in terms of advertisements. Twitter follows the standard prohibitions and restrictions when it comes to advertising on the website. But apart from the usual restrictions, Twitter categorically prohibits ads promoting malware products and has restrictions when it comes to software downloads.

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