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Adwords account suspended (mobile app promotion)

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hello,

 

My Adwords account + related accounts have been suspended : 

 

Your AdWords account has been suspended because it doesn't comply with our Advertising Policies and our AdWords Terms and Conditions

 

This happened after 1 ad had been disapproved. This ad type (app / digital content ad format) requires the selection of an official app ID (iTunes / Google Play), which is then looked up by the Adwords app database. For ad copy, a few lines from the official iTunes app description were used. 

 

The ad promoted a fun/casual poker app (available publically in iTunes / Google Play). Google decided to disapprove the ad, because:

 

[Casinos and gambling] Gambling Certificate Required: Your ad has been disapproved because you don't have an approved gambling certificate for the country you're targeting. If you're targeting one of the acceptable locations and are a nationally or state licensed entity in the specific country you're targeting, you need to submit your licensing information to Google prior to submitting your ads. We'll then review your request as quickly as possible and let you know whether we're able to approve your application or not.

 

A few hours later my account was suspended. So here are my questions:

 

  • If –apart from the fact that this app has a fun/casual character- the promotion of this app requires a special certificate, then why is it publically available in the Adwords app selection database, and the iTunes + Google Play Stores? Why is no upfront warning given that the app promotion / use is restricted , and that Google’s Advertising terms regarding Casinos and gambling apply?
  • Why has Google decided to suspend the account + related accounts, without any reasonable warning and time to take the required measures? The campaign has not been distributed, no users have been harmed in any way, and there was no intention to deceive Google and Google’s user base.

 

Any thoughts and/or feedback would be appreciated.

 

Thanks.

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Adwords account suspended (mobile app promotion)

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hello there;
Well... when there is a major violation of the Policy (as in your case - violating the gambling section) - Google instantly suspends the account to disallow further promotion of the prohibited product or service.
Google has been consistent clear and forward saying that advertisers should be well acquainted with Policy prior to advertise, otherwise might be in risk, of being suspended due to policy violation;
Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Adwords account suspended (mobile app promotion)

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Ok, clear.

However, the gambling policy section applies to real (online) gambling products and services, that's an entirely different industry. We are talking about a causal/fun poker app that is distributed by Google Play itself without any limitations/restrictions, so Google Play (and also iTunes) users have 24/7 access to it. Honestly, it never crossed my mind I would be promoting something illegal because of this very simple reason.

How can advertisers be banned for driving traffic directly to Google Play and iTunes hosted products? To me it sounds like Google has applied the wrong classification to this mobile casual app campaign, leading to an instantly suspended account.

Thanks for your feedback.

Re: Adwords account suspended (mobile app promotion)

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
Please review the entire Policy:
Gambling-related products include:

Online gambling, sports betting, bingo, lotteries, and online casino games
Gambling-related promotional products such as gambling-related vouchers, bonus codes, etc.
Gambling-related tutoring and educational materials such as books and e-books
Gambling-related software such as gambling software and poker odds calculators
Gambling-related information such as tips, odds, handicapping, and sports picks
Online scratch games run by state, national, or Indian reservations
Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Adwords account suspended (mobile app promotion)

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
This is the mobile app rating according to Apple iTunes:

Rated 12+ for the following: Frequent/Intense Simulated Gambling

Google Play does not even apply a rating.

So, both Apple iTunes and Google Play distribute this app via their Stores to their audiences (including 12+ kids). On top of that, this app is stored inside the Google Adwords app database; The advertiser simply selects the app ID, Google applies the app template, and then the ad can be submitted for approval.

1) If Google classifies 12+ simulated gambling as 'real gambling', then the Gambling Policy section should be extended to clarify this. The current policy is not clear on this.
2) If real gambling terms would apply, then why can one simply select and target that genre via the mobile app ad template in Adwords, and submit it for approval without any prior restrictions?
3) Also, according to the current policy section, it is allowed to re-submit or remove disapproved ads. However, Google suspended my account almost immediately without prior warning. No single impression was served, no harm was done to anyone. There has never been any intention to deceive Google or Google's user base.

Any additioanl thoughts or feedback would be much appreciated.

Thank you.

Re: Adwords account suspended (mobile app promotion)

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor
Hello again; You need to make a distinguish between uploading an app to Google play store, and making it publically available, and promoting it on AdWords . The latter is subject to policy restrictions. (And for some categories - prohibited.)
Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Adwords account suspended (mobile app promotion)

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hello, thank you for your feedback.

I understand that a distinction should be made between the Store's app acceptance policies and Google Adwords policies. In retrospect, I've wrongly assumed that the mobile app selection database in Google Adwords would only contain 'approved' apps for distribution via the Adwords ad network. So (unfortunately) I expected Google Adwords to apply its own policy restrictions to the Adwords campaign set up process.

In summary, here are my remarks:

1) If policy restrictions apply, then it would make sense if Google Adwords applies these restrictions to its very own mobile app selection system, which is part of the campaign setup process. Currently, Google Adwords facilitates the submission of 'restricted' apps without any prior warning.
2) If Google classifies 12+/kids simulated gambling apps (publically available in the App Stores) as 'real gambling', then the Gambling Policy section should be extended to clarify this. The current policy is not clear on this.
3) After the ad disapproval, Google suspended my account (+ related accounts) almost immediately without prior warning. No single impression was served, no harm has been done to anyone. There has never been any intention to deceive Google or Google's user base. So in what way did I repeatedly) violate the terms so that Google had to suspend my account? This decision seems just wrong to me. I've been using Google Adwords for years without any issues.

What is the best way to contact Google to argue this case? Adwords Support (telephone) could not help me.

Thank you again.
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Jorgo S
September 2015

Re: Adwords account suspended (mobile app promotion)

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor
I see. I will refer your comments to a Policy specialist at Google.
Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Adwords account suspended (mobile app promotion)

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thank you for your support.

Re: Adwords account suspended (mobile app promotion)

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Jorgo, did you get this fixed? I still haven't managed to fix this. The reps have been no help. The policy should make distinction between prize based casino games and casual casino style games.