Which industries are banned from online paid ads and why?


Which industries are banned from online paid ads and why?

Businesses in this current day and time, are focused on gaining internet traffic and converting it to successful transactions with potential customers. To make this possible, digital marketers are hired for expert e-marketing consultation. These professionals then suggest diverse forms of creating engagement, and plans to drive sales and profit. One of the foremost ways of putting out content and information which creates the necessary traction for profitable sales and customer engagement is through paid ads.

With online paid advertisement, you can post a specially designed advert on a website, social media page or search engine (Google or Bing).

The key is knowing your alternative options if you are involved in one of these industries.

This is a two-way lane because, anyone can see the ads. However there are industries that are not allowed to have the same opportunities advertising wise (not including the malicious or illegal activity).

In 2019, Google released its updated terms for online paid ads and it included restrictions on an extensive list of industries and businesses, which ranged from health and nutrition, financial institutions, technical support and Event ticket resale, to adult content. Google’s ad policy bears great similarity, in terms of bans and restrictions, with that of Facebook, which is expected since they are the top sites for ads. Some of these industries have certain limitations to which they can still run ads on websites, but only with verification and confirmation from the appropriate authorities.

The list below is referring to predominantly Facebook and Google Adwords policies.

The industries which are currently banned include;


Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the non-psychoactive component which brings about the same therapeutic effect as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Facebook, Twitter, Google (Adwords) and Instagram, all have bans that restrict the advertisement and sales of CBD-products. Most of their policies mention the fact that the FDA has taken the stand that CBD does not comply with laws guiding all products categorized under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). While Facebook allows ads for hemp-based CBD products, Google, Instagram and Twitter completely prohibit ads and sales of any form of CBD product. Tobacco ads are also banned by these sites and platforms.


There are serious restrictions regarding sales and advertisement of intoxicative substances including alcohol because some ads promote illegal, illicit or excessive consumption and, a majority of the online audience are under the legal drinking age in their respective countries. As a result, advertising alcohol and alcoholic products may only serve to increase their curiosity thereby promoting law-breaking behavior.


Services that aid gambling habits, provide payday loans and all other forms of short term loans are banned from online paid ads because they are easily addictive, and they support other social vices.


Due to gun control measures, it was important for digital advertising sites to ban the advertisement of explosives, guns, bullets, silencers, tripods, and other products that serve to aid gun use. Google allows the advertisement of certain parts that support gun safety and safe use like Gun locks, trigger locks, and safety pins can be advertised. Policies on ammunition advert are so strict that even toy guns and water guns cannot be advertised.


Similar to the ban on CBD, any supplement or medicine supposedly ‘boosting’ personal health cannot be advertised on social media pages like Facebook. Only drugs that have been certified by FDA can be advertised, that too with carefully tailored content. There are a number of health products out there, so this one can be considerably vague.


Any ad which contains content that is designed to stir shock, disrespect or entirely controversial topics such as politics for commercial purposes, is banned from being advertised online.


Now what?!

Depending on your business industry,  there are always different misconceptions for each. As long as you are practicing safe and legal practices within one of the industries mentioned above there are other advertising options available online.

Have you tried:

A word to the wise:

** Do not try to “beat the system” and attempt to bypass any large advertising platforms policies, they can and will ban you.


In Conclusion

Hopefully you find this article as interesting as we found it to be. Our goal in Design Moves LLC is to bring awareness to all that is digital marketing and emarketing consulting.


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**This article is an interpretation of the policies of today. This does not warrant or declare any decisions from the advertising platforms mentioned.