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YouTube Bans Ads for Politics, Alcohol, Prescription Drugs and Gambling on Homepage

BY J. CLARA CHAN | HollywoodReporter.Com

Troy Warren

Beginning on Monday, advertisers will have a new set of restrictions on the types of ads they can place on the “most prominent” slot on YouTube’s home page.

YouTube has banned ads related to politics, alcohol, prescription drugs and gambling from its “most prominent” ad slot on the homepage, according to updated guidelines posted to Google’s advertising support page on Monday.

Ads that depict or refer to alcohol, prescription drugs and gambling will not be allowed on the homepage. Political ads that endorse a candidate for office will also be outright banned, but others that are related to political issues will be reviewed case-by-case, according to Axios, which first reported the news.

The new restrictions announced on Monday will only apply to the homepage, meaning that rejected ads related to these topics may still appear elsewhere on YouTube or other Google-owned properties.

“We regularly review our advertising requirements to ensure they balance the needs of both advertisers and users,” a Google spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter. “We believe this update will build on changes we made last year to the masthead reservation process and will lead to a better experience for users.”

YouTube previously adjusted its guidelines for its highly coveted masthead ad slot by barring advertisers from reserving the ad slot for full days. The change, which went into effect at the beginning of this year, was first announced in November after Donald Trump purchased the homepage slot for several days leading up to the election.

In April, YouTube said it had surpassed $6 billion in advertising revenue in the first quarter of 2021, representing a 50 percent year-over-year growth rate compared to the $4 billion in ad revenue that YouTube reported for the first quarter of 2019.

June 14, 1:55 p.m. Updated with a statement from Google.