DigitalAdvertising

Which Microsoft Advertising functionality policies must advertisers adhere in 2022?

Which Microsoft Advertising functionality policies must advertisers adhere to? Microsoft Advertising policies help advertisers learn what makes a great ad, as well as what is and isn’t allowed in them. Guidelines are created to give you practical information about common questions that arise when using Microsoft Advertising.

Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads) is constantly striving to create the best ad experience for both

Which Microsoft Advertising functionality policies must advertisers adhere to?
Which Microsoft Advertising functionality policies must advertisers adhere to?

consumers and advertisers. For more information, visit our page on how advertising works.

Advertisers may want to review these policies in conjunction with applicable laws and regulations. These policies are subject to change at any time and have no retroactive effect.

In addition, Microsoft Advertising enforces other Terms and Conditions that may apply to your account, including those governing the use of automated ad creation tools and keyword bidding.

 

Which Microsoft Advertising functionality policies toward Ad content and style

Ad content must be clear, honest, and easy to understand. Ad content must not shock or surprise users.

Examples of ad content include visual elements such as images, text, illustrations, logos and icons; product placement; the use of distinctive brand styling ; audio/video format (e.g., short-form video ads); properties of interactivity; and other interactive elements or devices (e.g., hyperlinks).

Ad style policies

Write clear, factual ads that accurately describe what is offered on your website. When writing ad titles and descriptions, keep in mind the following policies:

  • a. Titles and descriptions should be:
  • b. Be accurate and truthful: Ads must not mislead users and must represent your company, products and services accurately. Note that ads which state the price of a product may still violate this policy if users are encouraged to click through to websites where prices are higher than advertised in the ad or where users are deceived as to the final price of a product or service.
  • c. Be clear and indicate the commercial nature of an ad: Ads must not be ambiguous, deceptive or misleading. They should not contain hidden or obfuscated charges, terms or conditions. Ads must also include all applicable disclosures required by law that are clearly visible and unambiguous.
  • d. Not misrepresent the site where the ad is posted: Ads must not represent that a product or service can be found on a publisher’s website when it cannot
  • e. Not use protected brands and marks: Ads must not contain content that infringes upon, dilutes or tarnishes valid trademark rights of third parties.
  • f. Not pretend to be or impersonate a publisher: Ads must not contain content that falsely implies an affiliation with any person or entity, misleads users into thinking you are on another site (e.g., “phishing”), and/or attempts to fraudulently induce users into acting upon such ads.
  • g. Not use Microsoft advertising or site branding without permission: Ads must not contain any content (including trademarks and logos) that asserts or implies Microsoft affiliation with, sponsorship of, or endorsement of such ads or websites
  • h. Not affect customer-support interactions: Ads must not be used in a way that affects the customer-support interactions that a user is having with a publisher’s customer service or that directs the end-user to contact the third party. Ads must not contain false, misleading, fraudulent, deceptive or offensive content.
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Ad content policies

These content policies will help you with the overall quality of your Microsoft Advertising content, such as eliminating redundancy, low quality ads or confusing user experiences.

  • Ad content must meet the legal and cultural sensitivities of the target audience: Ads should be appropriate for the intended audience and media environment.
  • Remove misleading ads: We want users to trust that what they see and interact with during their experience is relevant, useful and safe; we do not allow ads or destinations that are deceptive, misleading, malicious or offensive.
  • Ensure ad content is accurate and relevant: Ads should be clear and honest about what they offer, as well as relevant to the publisher site on which they appear.
  • Ad destinations must meet all legal and regulatory requirements: Ads may not lead users to sites that violate any applicable laws or industry standards.
  • Ad content must maintain brand integrity: Ads should not engage in deceptive marketing practices, including failing to clearly state the advertiser’s identity and purpose when promoting commercial offers, or creating misleading offers with false or unverifiable claims.
  • Add disclaimers when necessary: To ensure transparency for users and that ads meet legal and regulatory requirements, advertisers may be required to provide a disclaimer on an ad.
  • Comply with relevant industry guidelines: Advertisers should adhere to all applicable laws and regulations for both their business location and the locations targeted by their ads.
  • Remove duplicate ads

URLs and landing page policies

Advertisers must provide the relevant and appropriate content, products, or services that are accurately described on the destination URL or landing page. Ad destinations must be in line with the ad’s product or service offering.

  • Disclose that a page uses cookies or similar technology: Some ads may collect information via the use of cookies or other technologies to personalize content, measure advertising effectiveness, and more. Users should have clear and accessible notice of this functionality so they can opt-out if they choose.
  • Remove misleading URLs: Ads must not contain deceptive URLs that misrepresent the content of the destination page.
  • Provide a functional landing page: Ads should direct users to a functioning, relevant and complete landing page that includes a strong call-to-action.
  • Remove any unnecessary elements from destinations: When using click tracking URLs, advertisers must provide the user with a standard redirection from an ad to their final destination.
  • Destination URLs must be accessible to all users: Ads should provide a link or button that enables users to exit the ad and access the publisher page directly.
  • Comply with all applicable laws, regulations and guidelines: Destination URLs must comply with any legal requirements set forth in the country of delivery for the product or service being offered. If the product or service being offered is regulated, then the landing page should also adhere to all requirements that are applicable in that country.

Financial products and services

Advertising for the following products and services is not permitted:

  • Cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency-related products and services
  • Initial coin offerings or token sales
  • Cryptocurrencies that are not publicly traded on a public stock exchange
  • Digital wallets to store cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple
  • Providing cryptocurrency trading advice for compensation (in the form of money, tokens or other items of value)
  • Financial products and  services that are considered to be “High Risk”
  • Ponzi schemes
  • Unapproved multi-level marketing schemes
  • Pyramid schemes
  • Get rich quick schemes

Advertising for the following products and services is permitted under the following conditions:

  • Ads promoting financial products and services that are publicly traded on a public stock exchange
  • Ads promoting newly-issued cryptocurrencies which have been publicly traded on a public stock exchange for at least 30 days
  • Advertisers who would like to campaign for cryptocurrency exchanges or wallet apps must submit the app to the Steam Inventory Service
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Gambling and contests

Microsoft’s policy on gambling advertising differs by country and region.

Markets that disallow gambling advertising:

India, Russia, United Arab Emirates

Markets that allow gambling advertising in some capacity:

Brazil, Canada, Japan, Mexico, United States of America

Microsoft does not permit the promotion of lotteries or online casinos with real money games.

Microsoft however permits ads promoting the following if they meet all applicable laws, regulations, and policies:

  • Non-profit, non-commercial contests where participants must connect with an Official Facebook Page to participate (runners up will not be eligible for prizes)
  • Video game competitions where first prize is a package worth less than US$5,000
  • Gambling sites that do not target minors or provide games of skill
  • Gambling services where participants must have reached the age of majority according to applicable law
  • Online real money casino games that are legal under local laws and regulations Gambling ads for people residing in Austria who have not yet reached the age of 18 may be permitted on Facebook through our local language online support center. Ads must target people over 18.

Intellectual property policies

As an advertiser, you are responsible for ensuring that your keywords and ad content do not violate the intellectual property rights of other advertisers, publishers, third parties or Microsoft.

If you are a trademark owner and you believe your trademark is being infringed upon by another advertiser, please provide Microsoft’s trademarks team with the following information:

  • The trademark registration number(s) for the relevant word(s) or logo(s)
  • An image of the infringing content.
  • A description of where the infringing content appears on our platform
  • The company name or product being advertised on Microsoft sites with your trademark
  • Your contact information, including name, address and telephone number.

Microsoft Audience Ads

Advertising for the following content is disallowed:

  • Pornographic, adult or mature content
  • Content that exploits children in any way
  • Hate speech, violence, dangerous and illegal activities, and/or the sale of cigarettes or e-cigarettes
  • Content promoting hacking, cracking, phishing, scamming, or fraud
  • Content promoting or providing instructional information about illegal activities such as making or buying illegal weapons; violating someone’s privacy; or providing or creating computer viruses.
  • Content that solicits passwords for other services, promotions or contests.
  • Content that contains software viruses or other harmful code.
  • Unfair treatment of partners and competitors (e.g., presenting another company’s products or services in a negative light)
  • Promotions for whitepapers (or other marketing materials) that require opt-in without providing an opt-out

Age targeting should be applied for the following content:

  • Gambling services that target minors
  • Content that promotes or targets people under the age of majority in applicable law for gambling ads (exceptions made for video games with an ESRB rating of TEEN and up)
  • Content standards for family-focused Restricted Mode​ . Ads must comply with our advertising policies. For example, ads must not include adult content.
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) topics
  • Advertising for alcohol or smoking products
  • Content that promotes the sales of contraceptives (exceptions may be made for ads promoting clinical trials or research studies)
  • Healthcare-related content including pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements; weight loss products;

Pharmacy and health care products and services Microsoft’s policies

Microsoft’s policy on pharmaceutical products varies by market. Microsoft Advertising restricts/limits the promotion of prescription-only drugs — these are medications that must be authorized by an approved medical professional, as opposed to over-the-counter (OTC) medications which. do not require a prescription.

Pharmacy and health care products and services Microsoft's policies
Pharmacy and health care products and services Microsoft’s policies

In the United States and Canada, Microsoft prohibits advertising for any drug requiring a prescription to treat:

  • Mental health disorders (e.g., clinical depression);
  • Prostate enlargement;
  • Women’s sex drive and menopause; and/or
  • Erectile dysfunction (e.g., Viagra).
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In the United Kingdom, Microsoft prohibit advertising for prescribed drugs that:

  • Treat a psychological disorder (e.g., clinical depression); and/or
  • Promote any bodily function or functioning part of the body (e.g., weight loss, sexual performance) – except those promoting a prescription drug.

Microsoft allow advertising for over-the-counter (OTC) drugs that meet certain criteria, including:

  • Doing the following: Are nonprescription drugs;
  • No claims of diagnostic accuracy;
  • Do not claim to prevent, treat or cure any disease or condition.
  • Operating only in the United States and Canada.

Product Ads and media formats policies

The following Microsoft’s policies will help you specifically with Product Ads, extensions products and ads that including image, audio and video formats.

Content standards for audio and video formats

  • Microsoft allows audio and video formats as long as they adhere to these guidelines: Video ads must be in standard-definition or better.
  • Audio ads must not exceed 90 seconds.
  • Ads may include product demonstrations, video/audio interviews with talent, music videos, and trailers for both feature-length and short-form content (e.g., TV episodes).
  • Content that is primarily an audio stream must not contain video content.
  • Video ads must not include adult content (e.g., nudity, depictions of people in explicit or suggestive positions, or activities that are overly suggestive or sexually provocative).

Programmatic and dynamic ad insertion: guidelines for audio and video formats

  • Ads may be purchased programmatically and/or with a third-party platform through the Microsoft Advertising platform.
  • Programmatic ads may use dynamic ad insertion or they can be static, which doesn’t allow for dynamic ad insertion.
  • Dynamic ads are based on information you provide in your media file (e.g., ID3 tags in MP3 files) or via third-party data providers. Dynamic ads can be targeted to users based on:
  • Audience data (e.g., age, gender and parental status);
  • Content-related information (e.g., topics in the podcast, TV show or video).
  • Important: When selling ads that use dynamic ad insertion, you must disclose this functionality to your client and ensure they give you the clear and explicit right to serve ads dynamically.

Microsoft’s policy User safety and privacy issues

Privacy and data protection policies - Microsoft Advertising
Microsoft’s policy User safety and privacy issues

To ensure the best user experience, Microsoft Advertising excludes advertising that could in any way harm or endanger our users. As such, we do not accept advertising for the following:

  • Products or services that include or promote adult content (e.g., nudity);
  • Products or services that facilitate dangerous activities;
  • Products and services with insufficient age-based ratings;
  • Any illegal product and/or service, including counterfeit goods and unlicensed trade of branded items;
  • Products and services that promote, facilitate or instruct users how to engage in illegal activity;
  • Products and services that collect information for unlawful purposes (e.g., surveillance products);
  • Services that may damage the advertiser’s site or other sites or apps (e.g., adware);
  • Products and services that compromise the security of a user’s device, data or personal information (e.g., spyware).

Microsoft Advertising reserves the right to stop serving ads from any account with suspicious activities that may harm the platform or users.

Conclusion

All the Microsoft (MSFT) ads policies apply for BING Ads, AdCenter and all other properties of Microsoft Advertising. Be aware that advertising any product or service related to the above-mentioned at Google Display Network is not allowed there. As well as promoting gambling activities in general (Las Vegas excluded). The bottom line is that advertisers should follow the local rules and regulations of the specific country where they are promoting their product or service. That is, when it comes to gambling in particular, for example.

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