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Ads disguised as content

Ads disguised as content

What is ads disguised as content

When ads are disguised as content, they trick the users into engaging with the ads and contributing to monetization without the users’ knowledge. Ads can disguise as content in two ways, causing violations.

  • Ads that seem like app or website content.
  • Buttons or ads that promote other Google Play Store listings but are indistinguishable from the actual content.

How it looks

Below are some misleading advertising examples.

  • In the example below, the news story is an ad that is disguised as a news story. The ad has a native look and feels and fits perfectly into the UI. However, users may click without recognizing it as a native ad since it is missing the label ‘AD’.

    Ad that is disguised as a news storyAd that is disguised as a news story
  • In the example below, an ad for another app listing is disguised as app content. On clicking the icon, the user is redirected to the app listing on the App or Play Store.",

    App listing is disguised as app contentApp listing is disguised as app content

What are its consequences

Google takes strict measures when such policy violations occur on an app or website.

  • Google may limit ads or completely block them from your app or website.
  • Google may suspend or terminate your account from monetization.

How to avoid it

To prevent ads from being misinterpreted as an app or website content, some elements must be added to ads as a mandate.

How to avoid itHow to avoid it
  • Ad attribution: Ads must have the label ‘Ad’ or ‘Advertisement’, or a minimum 15px badge that says ‘Ad’.
  • AdChoices URL: Advertisers must include the AdChoices URL in their bid response for the icon to appear on the ad.

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How we help you resolve policy violations

  • Our dedicated account managers look into your app and website to identify any policy violations.

  • We suggest ad formats and placements that may perform best according to your app or website’s UI and UX.

  • If policy violations are detected, we provide suggestions and help you resolve them to ensure that monetization is not hindered.

  • We do a thorough audit on a regular basis to avoid policy violations and stalled revenue growth.

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