Advertiser-friendly content guidelines - YouTube Help

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This help content & informationGeneral Help Center experience

Updated June 2019: This article now includes more examples of content that will receive limited or no ads. There are no policy changes which means you should not expect any difference in how your videos are assessed for advertiser friendliness.

If you’re in the YouTube Partner Program, you can monetize with ads. This article aims to help you understand which individual videos on your channel are suitable for advertisers. Our policies apply to all portions of your content (video or live stream, thumbnail, title, description, and tags). Learn more about our best practices

Our systems don't always get it right, but you can request human review of decisions made by our automated systems. 

Note: All content uploaded to YouTube must comply with our Community Guidelines. If your content violates our Community Guidelines, it may be removed from YouTube. If you see violative content,

you can report it

.

What you'll find in this article
You'll find examples of content not suitable for ads, and will result in a "limited or no ads" monetization state. 

Here are all the main topics that are not advertiser-friendly:

Inappropriate language

Content that contains frequent uses of strong profanity or vulgarity throughout the video may not be suitable for advertising. Occasional use of profanity won’t necessarily result in your video being unsuitable for advertising, but context matters.

Examples (non-exhaustive)

Violence

Content where the focal point is on blood, violence, or injury, when presented without additional context, is not suitable for advertising. If you're showing violent content in a news, educational, artistic, or documentary context, that additional context is important. Violence in the normal course of video gameplay is generally acceptable for advertising, but montages where gratuitous violence is the focal point is not.

Examples (non-exhaustive)

Category Limited or no ads  
Content containing gruesome, graphic, or disgusting accounts or imagery
  • Blood, guts, gore, sexual fluids, human or animal waste, crime scene or accident photos
Content depicting acts of violence
  • Accounts or images of shootings, explosions, or bombings; execution videos; violent acts committed against animals
  • Content depicting cruelty or gratuitous violence toward animals, such as  cockfighting, bullfighting, or dog fighting 
  • Videos that contain graphic violence in the context of physical altercations, public demonstrations, or police brutality
  • Raw footage of war casualties with graphic depictions of injury or death
  • Gratuitous violence against children, even if only dramatized or fictional
  • Hunting videos with a focal point in graphical violence, animal death or suffering

Adult content

Adult Content
Content that features highly sexualized themes is not suitable for advertising, with limited exceptions for non-graphic sexual education videos. Stating your comedic intent is not sufficient and that content may still not be suitable for advertising.

Examples (non-exhaustive)

Harmful or dangerous acts

Content that promotes harmful or dangerous acts that result in serious physical, emotional, or psychological injury is not suitable for advertising. 

Examples (non-exhaustive) 

Category Limited or no ads  
Inappropriate pranks, challenges, dares, and stunts
  • Pranks relating to suicide, death, terrorism (like fake bomb scare pranks), or threats with firearms and other lethal weapons
  • Sexually unwanted acts such as forced kissing, groping, or sexual abuse
  • Shows physical harm or distress but is not the focus of the video. This guideline applies to acts performed in non-professional, non-controlled environments
  • Content that induces prolonged emotional distress of a minor
Body modification and medical procedures
  • Invasive medical procedures, including cosmetic surgery
  • Pimple-popping or in-grown toenail removal
  • Skin implant procedures
  • Tongue forking surgery
Content that threatens or advocates for physical or mental harm on oneself or others
  • Threatening someone with real-life harm
  • Calling for the attack of another person
Harm to self, harm to others or harmed by others
  • Content related to suicide, eating disorders, bullying, harassment, domestic violence, or other forms of abuse and self-harm
  • Content that promotes the use of weapons to inflict harm on others
  • Content relating to cannibalism
Dangerous acts not to be imitated
  • Content showing the consumption of substances in such quantities that it results in a toxic reaction
  • Failure compilations that include graphic harm and injury
  • Subway or underground surfing
  • Roof-topping
  • Other challenge-based content, which if replicated may result in harm (like the fire challenge, kiki challenge, and bird box challenge)
Promoting or advocating for harmful health or medical claims or practices
  • Anti-vaccination, or AIDS denialist movements
  • Non-medical treatments that promise to cure untreatable diseases
  • Content, which implies serious medical conditions, does not exist, or are an elaborate hoax

Hateful content

Content that incites hatred against, promotes discrimination, disparages, or humiliates an individual or group of people based on the following is not suitable for advertising:

Content that is satire or comedy may be exempt. Stating your comedic intent is not sufficient and that content may still not be suitable for advertising.

Examples (non-exhaustive) 

Incendiary and demeaning

Content that is gratuitously incendiary, inflammatory, or demeaning may not be suitable for advertising. 

Examples (non-exhaustive) 

Recreational drugs and drug-related content

Content that promotes or features the following is not suitable for advertising:

Videos discussing drugs or dangerous substances for educational, documentary, and artistic purposes are generally suitable for advertising -- so long as drug use or substance abuse is not graphic or glorified.

Examples (non-exhaustive)

Category Limited or no ads  
Promoting substances that alter mental state for recreational purposes, or otherwise induce "highs"
  • Cocaine, crystal meth, heroin, marijuana, cocaine substitutes, mephedrone, "legal highs", bath salts
Promoting products or services marketed as facilitating recreational drug use
  • Pipes, bongs, cannabis coffee shops
Promoting instructional content about producing, purchasing, or using recreational drugs
  • Exchanging tips or recommendations on drug use

Tobacco-related content

Content that promotes tobacco and tobacco-related products is not suitable for advertising.

Examples (non-exhaustive)

Firearms-related content

Content focused on the sale, assembly, abuse, or misuse of firearms is not suitable for advertising.

Examples (non-exhaustive) 

Controversial issues and sensitive events

Content that features or focuses on sensitive topics or events is generally not suitable for ads. This policy applies even if the content is purely commentary or contains no graphic imagery. 

Examples (non-exhaustive) 

Adult themes in family content

Content that appears to be appropriate for a general audience but contains adult themes is not suitable for advertising. This guideline applies even if content is done for comedic or satirical purposes. 

Examples (non-exhaustive) 

Category Limited or no ads  
Adult themes in family content

Content that is made to appear appropriate for a general audience, but contains adult themes, including:

  • Sex
  • Violence
  • Vulgarity
  • Other depictions of children or popular children’s characters, that are unsuitable for a general audience
     

All videos uploaded to YouTube must comply with YouTube’s Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. To be able to monetize with ads, you’ll need to follow the YouTube Partner Program policies and Google AdSense Program policies

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