Navigating platform advertising restrictions
Because platforms and providers consistently update guidelines, we created this page to use as a resource to keep up to date on ad policies and restrictions across these popular platforms:
TikTok advertising restrictions
TikTok, the fast-growing social media app, shouldn’t be ruled out when it comes to advertising your business. Using 15-second to 3-minute videos, TikTok can be a great place to show off what your business can do and offer. Like all social media, TikTok has restrictions and prohibitions for marketers that every business needs to acknowledge.
- Ad creative (caption/text, images and visual content, audio)
- Targeted region and age group
- Landing pages
TikTok has specific advertising policies for ad creatives and landing pages. These policies include:
- Format and functionality
- Landing page content
- Landing page consistency
- Language and targets
- And more
- Find the complete advertising policies for TikTok ad creatives and landing pages here
Google advertising restrictions
Google’s ads network has strong advertising policies and restrictions. With 91.56% of the global search engine market, Google wants its ad experience to be safe, trustworthy and transparent, and to work for users, advertisers, and publishers. With this in mind, there are restrictions to be aware of as you design your ad creatives and target audience.
Google advertising policies cover 4 areas:
- Prohibited content – things you can’t advertise on the Google Network
- Prohibited practices – things you can’t do on the ads network
- Restricted content – content that is advertised with limitations
- Quality standards – standards for ads, websites, and apps
A comprehensive overview of Google Ads policies, including information on restricted industries content, legal requirements, and more can be found here.
Google advertising targeting restrictions
Some sectors face targeting restrictions on Google Ads. Housing, employment, and credit products (HEC) cannot be targeted to audiences based on:
- Parental status
- Marital status
- ZIP code
- More information on Google advertising HEC campaigns can be found here
Microsoft/Xandr advertising restrictions
- Microsoft may restrict or moderate ads containing or relating to specific products or services and has the discretion to reject or remove ads. The list of restricted advertising content can be found here.
- In September and October 2023, Xandr officially banned political ads and expanded its restrictions on alcohol, gambling, and tobacco products in specific markets.
- Along with restricted content, Microsoft prohibits ads that are misleading, deceptive, and harmful. This includes ads that feature sensationalized text or imagery, fraudulent free offers or pricing claims, misleading content, and more. A full outline of Microsoft’s policies are available here.
Meta/Facebook advertising restrictions
- Meta has general guidelines that cover policy principles, the ad review process, community standards, and restricted and prohibited content. Learn about Meta ad standards here.
- The most recent rules and regulations for Meta ads are found here.
- In 2019, Meta rolled out Housing, Employment, and Credit ad (HEC) targeting restrictions. These fall into Special Ad Categories. Click here for more information on HEC ads.
- Advertisers can run ads for social issues, elections, and politics on Meta. However, these ads need to follow Meta’s political ad guidelines.
Hulu advertising restrictions
Hulu ads are 15-to-30 second videos streamed on ad-supported plans. The platform has limited targeting options for industries that fall under its Special Ads category.
Hulu special ads categories include:
- Consumer banking
- Credit cards
- Real estate
- Financial planning
- Investment brokerage
- Tax services
- And more
Special ad restrictions also apply to promotions for the following categories. These categories can change with Hulu’s discretion.
- Credit opportunity
- Employment opportunity
- House opportunity or related service
- Gubernatorial, Congressional, and Senatorial Political campaigns
- Political advocacy
- Other Political categories
Talk to your marketing agency for more information on Hulu targeting guidelines.
Spotify advertising restrictions
Spotify prohibits and restricts certain ads on its platform. Products and services that are totally prohibited fall under the dangerous products and services category.
Spotify’s prohibited content list includes, but is not limited to:
- Dangerous weapons
- Cigarettes/tobacco products and related items
- And more
- Click here for Spotify’s list of prohibited content
Restricted ads can promote certain content, products, and services with some limitations. Restricted categories include:
- Financial products and services
- Gambling and games
- And more
- Click here for Spotify’s restricted ad policy
Pandora ad restrictions
Pandora radio has community and content policies that advertisers must follow.
Pandora has a strict policy against promoting regulated goods and services including:
- Fireworks or firearms/weapons
- Other goods and services that are heavily regulated in the United States or in other countries in which Pandora operates
- View Pandora’s entire community and content policy here
Do advertising restrictions have you worried?
It’s important to pay close attention to ad restrictions across platforms. These rules impact all businesses, but are especially important for the Finance, Banking, Credit, Housing, Political, and Healthcare industries.
Each platform has its own set of guidelines about advertisements that are allowed and prohibited. Breaking the rules can have severe ramifications for your business. It may be as simple as ads that are taken down or blocked after uploading, or worse, losing access to your accounts for violating terms. Staying on top of all the rules can be tough – that’s why working with a marketing partner who can steer you in the right direction will keep your ads running in front of the right people and give you peace of mind.