YouTube bans political, alcohol ads from masthead

Youtube ads masthead gambling alcohol politics website

YouTube has banned ads about gambling, alcohol, politics, and prescription drugs from its masthead, the website’s most prominent advertisement slot.

Axios reported the ban on 14 June.

The masthead is located on the top of the YouTube homepage. It is the most expensive ad slot on the website and has previously been a source of political controversy.

According to YouTube’s ad content requirements, masthead ads must adhere to the website’s policies and will be reviewed to ensure compliance.

However, disapproved masthead ads may continue to run on Google’s other platforms and properties.

The following categories of advertising are prohibited:

  • Gambling-related content including offline and online gambling, online non-casino games, and social casino games
  • Elections and political content
  • Alcohol-related content including alcohol sales and branding
  • Prescription drug terms

This is in addition to other improper content such as nudity, offensive language, and false claims surrounding disease cures and money-making schemes.

“We believe this update will build on changes we made last year to the masthead reservation process and will lead to a better experience for users,” a Google spokesperson told Axios.

In 2020, former US President Donald Trump purchased the masthead slot for two days before Election Day on 3 November and the day itself.

Prior to that, Google told advertisers it would pause election-specific ads after the polls closed on 3 November.

After Trump bought the slot, Google removed the option of full-day ad reservations. Instead, advertisers would have to buy the slot on a per-impression basis.

Feature image: Unsplash/Christian Wiediger

Read more: YouTube Music opens applications for Black Voices Fund

Sam Spiller, Staff Writer


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