AdCritter Ad Policies
AdCritter ad targeting policies are in place to help users feel welcome and comfortable. This policy applies to ad interest targeting. Advertisers are wholly responsible for making sure ad targeting, including 1st and 3rd party data, is legal and complies with all applicable local and regional regulations and the policy.
- AdCritter policy does not allow any ad or related targeting that is discriminatory, harassing, predatory, or offensive.
- AdCritter policy does not allow advertisers to target ads using targeting categories (segments) to any region where those categories are not legal.
- Advertisers may not use interests in products or services that are classified as unacceptable products as listed under the AdCritter Ad Policy to create ad targeting segments.
- AdCritter policy excludes children known to be under the age of 13 from targeted advertising. Additionally, ad products must be appropriately age targeted as outlined under AdCritter's Ad Content Policies.
- AdCritter does not allow the use of age, gender or ethnic affinity targeting to target ads that promote job services or job openings, housing offers, payday loans, debt collection or remediation, or online for-profit colleges.
- Advertisers may not use the sensitive interest categories below (also known as segments) to target users or to market products or services. Sensitive interest categories include but are not limited to:
- Any category that facilitates discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, religion or protected class.
- Any category that is predatory in nature. For example, targeting users based on economic hardship or economic vulnerability.
- Any category that focuses on sexual interests.
- Any category that focuses on illegal activities.
- Any category that focuses on mental illness including addiction issues.
- Any category that focuses on personal hardships, including intimate health conditions or treatment.
Cloaking or Malicious Behavior
AdCritter takes proactive measures to prevent malware from serving on our platforms. All advertising assets are required to be scanned by proprietary and 3rd party systems prior to launch. Malicious ads are removed immediately to protect the platforms and users. Note that advertisers that have been certified by Ad Policy to be whitelisted may not require scanning of all assets.
Advertisers that use any of the following techniques will be subject to appropriate action, up to and including revocation of access to AdCritter platforms.
- Sites or ads that use cloaking or similar techniques to display different content to reviewers during ad review regardless of time of day or location.
- Sites or ads that use any malicious techniques to circumvent any aspect of the review process.
- Ads that use cloaking or any similar evasive or malicious technique to evade compliance with GDPR requirements.
- Ads that use any malicious technique to mask 3rd party vendor technology within a creative.
Advertising (ad text, images, videos, links and/or landing pages) that misrepresents, ridicules or attacks an individual or group on the basis of age, color, national origin, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or cognitive, sensory or physical disabilities, or otherwise that violates AdCritter’s Terms of Service, is not acceptable.
Advertising that promotes violence, crime, obscenity or other forms of anti-social behavior, or is otherwise not in good taste, is not acceptable. Advertisements may not use disparaging language or intimate that use of the advertised product or service will help avoid compliance with a law or promote illegal activity.
Advertising that features defamatory, libelous or threatening content or language is not acceptable.
Advertising that features potentially offensive content or language is not acceptable.
This includes but is not limited to:
- Ads and landing pages that leverage fear, sensitive political or cultural topics, tragic events, or salacious content to promote commercial products or offers.
- Ads that use race-baiting, bigotry or similarly offensive techniques to promote products or services.
- Viscerally impactful images such as close up images of medical conditions or unattractive conditions the product is meant to treat, blood, body parts or bodily fluids.
- Vulgar or offensive words or phrases.
Advertising that is associated with extreme user irritation, including but not limited to Ad Feedback or other negative user feedback, may be removed from AdCritter platforms without notice, regardless of compliance with other policies in this document, and/or prior feedback or approval from AdCritter. Questions as to whether an advertisement is acceptable should be referred to the AdCritter Ad Policy team.
Advertising that provides comparative price information on identical products is acceptable. These ads cannot refer to uses or to the safety or effectiveness of the competitive product or make other representations about the competitive product, other than those permitted by FDA advertising regulations. Comparative claims other than price comparisons are not acceptable.
Contests & Sweepstakes
Skill contests and random draw sweepstakes may be promoted if the contest/sweepstakes does not constitute an illegal lottery and otherwise complies with all applicable country, federal and state laws. Such programs include random drawings, trivia contests, word games, spelling bees, essay contests and photography contests. Advertisements for contests and sweepstakes must clearly and conspicuously disclose the material terms and conditions of participating and must not be false, deceptive or misleading. All promotions must clearly disclose that no purchase is necessary when legally required (e.g., United States).
Mobile: Ads for Contests will not be served within mobile application implementations; advertisers may not target ads for contests to mobile or device inventory.
All contests and sweepstakes that allow entry by users under the age of 18 must be reviewed by the AdCritter Ad Policy Team. Please contact your Account Manager.
False or Misleading Claims
False or misleading claims are not acceptable. Advertisers may be asked to provide third-party substantiation to support certain claims.
Offers for online technical support services or any other online or phone-based products or services may not falsely claim or imply affiliation with another business, government entity, manufacturer or association.
All ad components must be accurate and relevant to the ultimate offer.
Landing pages must lead to a fully functional web page that renders properly on all devices.
Landing pages must directly relate to both the ad text and the product that is ultimately offered to consumers.
Don’t mislead users with the ad text, image or video, or the “sponsored by” label or any combination of the elements.
Images or videos must be relevant, recognizable, and appropriate to the advertised product. There should be a clear, simple and logical link between the supplied image or video and the ad message to users.
The word “free” is recognized as a strong inducement in advertising copy. An offer may be described as “free” provided that all conditions for obtaining the “free” product or service are clearly and conspicuously disclosed. Advertising must comply with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines concerning “free” offers. Although compliance with FTC guidelines is required, it does not equate to compliance with AdCritter advertising policies.
Specifically, if a product or service in a promotion or advertising creative is described as “free,” and the consumer must meet certain conditions or make payments or purchases in order to receive the free item (e.g., paying shipping & handling fees, completing consumer surveys or providing personal information), the existence of those conditions must be clearly and conspicuously disclosed in the advertisement and in close proximity to the offer.
All “free” offers must be reviewed and approved by the AdCritter Ad Policy team.
Please also refer to the section NEGATIVE OPTION MARKETING for related information.
Low-Quality Offers and Landing Page Techniques
Products or services and landing pages that use techniques deemed to be low quality by AdCritter, are not acceptable. This includes but is not limited to:
- Landing pages that feature sponsored links, display ads or other advertising as the primary content.
- Ads or landing pages that spawn pop-ups or pop-unders.
- Ad text that include user testimonials without adequate context and substantiation.
- Services that are offered for free by the government and offered by third parties without adding any additional value to the user, such as green card lotteries.
News, Blog, & Product Review Formats
Advertisements with landing pages that inaccurately appear to be blogs, product review sites or simulated newspaper sites are generally not acceptable.
Advertisements and landing pages that mimic a news format or otherwise try to hide their commercial nature are not acceptable.
Text or images, (whether on the display ad, landing page, or both), that are utilized to make a user believe that they are viewing coverage from a newspaper or TV news report are not acceptable. (Examples: text such as Breaking News, Shocking News, Live from WABC News, Consumer News Consumer Alerts; images of newscasters; names and logos that mimic major media outlets; and/or investigative-sounding headlines.)
AdCritter will accept, at our sole discretion, advertising from companies where the landing page includes blog/journal style articles, if the advertiser complies with the following guidelines:
- Makes all disclosures regarding their relationship with their clients clear and conspicuous by placing them where consumers are likely to look on Web pages, by labeling disclosures (and links to them) to indicate their importance and relevance and by using easy-to-read fonts and colors.
- All links on the landing pages work and are accurately labeled.
- User reviews, comments, and testimonials are truthful and not misleading.
- Works with advertisers that comply with AdCritter’s Negative Option Marketing guidelines.
- Is in good standing with any of the various business ratings organizations (e.g., Better Business Bureau (BBB)).
General Guidelines for landing pages:
- Offer expiration dates that update automatically are not acceptable.
- Advertorial content must have at least 2 prominent disclosures: "Advertisement" or "Advertorial" in all capital letters at the very top center of the page and "Sponsored Content Provided By [insert name of product or advertiser]" below the nav bar.
- All links must work as labeled. For example, links to comments, email, Facebook and other “content” categories cannot lead directly to the offer page.
- Misrepresentations (express, implied or by omission) that comments express the views of independent consumers are unacceptable.
- Tactics such as misrepresenting the location of any person depicted in the advertisement or website when such location is actually determined by the use of geo-location information provided by a user’s IP address are unacceptable (e.g., claims that a person depicted on the website is “a stay-at-home mom from Dulles, VA,” when “Dulles, VA” changes based on the location of the user).
The following words are not allowed in the url, creative, or landing page:
- Consumer Alert(s)
The following cannot appear on the landing page:
- Weather reports
- Market ticker
- Images or videos of newscasters
- False endorsements of the product (e.g., by celebrities or medical professionals)
- Names and logos that mimic major media outlets
Creative Content Guidelines
- “Attention grabbing" mechanisms and/or animation with the sole purpose of distracting the user via repetitive, rapid flashing or blinking tactics or that has the potential to significantly distract users from editorial content or user experience is not acceptable. This includes images unrelated to the nature of the product being advertised. Words and phrases including but not limited to “Shocking,” “Breaking News,” “Special Report,” “Alert,”,“Stop!”, “Consumer Alert,” and “HATE” are not acceptable. Loud, clashing or disruptive color combinations are not acceptable.
- Advertising must not use scare tactics or otherwise prey on people’s fears and insecurities.
- High-annoyance design elements such as arrows and circles that needlessly call attention to the advertisement are not acceptable.
- Advertisements must clearly display the name, brand or product being advertised on the creative. All ads large enough to fit branding must include it within the ad unit. All other ads must have clear branding on the landing page.
- Display ads should have a 1-pixel black border, or solid background color, to help distinguish them from page content.
- All offers presented must be consistent with the offers presented on the corresponding landing pages. All offers presented must correlate to the images being presented as part of the same advertisement.
- Advertising must deliver a relevant, positive and expected experience for consumers seeking products, services and content. Ads must be relevant to the product or service being offered on the landing page; offers depicted in an ad must be visible/available on the click-through landing page of the ad.
- Before and after images are not allowed without review by the AdCritter Ad Policy Team.
- Landing pages cannot only contain a lengthy video that must be watched in order to learn about the offer.
Functionality that is not predictive or does not display an expected experience/outcome is not acceptable.
Any element designed to generate a click without relevant information or content at the destination is not acceptable.
Functionality such as inactive “close" icons within the ad or on the landing page that does not trigger expected behavior is not acceptable.
Dynamic user experiences within an ad must resolve to an expected, appropriate result on the landing page. For example, if a user is able to select a specific state (such as Washington) from a dropdown list in an ad, the landing page experience must meaningfully reflect the user’s choice (such as mortgage rates specific to Washington State).
- Static images of radio buttons
- Underlined text that appears to be a hyperlink but not actionable
- Inactive selection boxes or drop-downs
- Functionality that appears to make the ad page look broken or as if something is not working
- Functionality that impacts performance: general impact on performance, reliability and quality of the user’s computing experience (e.g. slow computer performance, reduced productivity, corruption of the operating system or other issues)
- Functionality that requires users to enter personal information (i.e. name, email address, phone number) in order to view information within the ad or landing page
Note: This does not apply to non-personal information such as zip codes or a user’s city/region for ad targeting purposes.
- Poor resolution, grainy looking images are not acceptable.
- Undecipherable or unidentifiable images are not acceptable.
- No interfering background or fuzzy logos; clean text required.
- Images cannot include phone numbers or contact information unless part of the company name (e.g. 1-800-Contacts).
Sexually Suggestive or Graphic Content:
- Cleavage: Cleavage is acceptable if: a) the person is clearly 18+, b) there is no disembodiment, c) it is not coupled with sexual innuendo in the tagline, d) the breasts are not the focus of the advertisement, and e) the image is in good taste.
- Disembodiment: Advertisements that use images that focus on specific body parts or use exaggerated body parts to gain attention are not acceptable. Disembodiment of the human form to display only the breast, groin or buttock regions is unacceptable. Models should be shown in complete form including their head.
- Partial Nudity/Semi-Revealing Attire: Partial nudity, including scantily clad women/men in swimsuits, is acceptable, provided a) the person is clearly 18+, b) there is no disembodiment, c) garments are not transparent, d) men may not be bare-chested, e) garments/poses are not considered erotic, f) it is not coupled with sexual innuendo in the tagline and g) graphic is in good taste.
- Sex/Sexual Situation: Any sexually suggestive images of children/teenagers/adults (male or female) are not allowed.
- Violence: Graphics or images containing gore are not allowed. Weapons cannot be presented in a violent or threatening manner. Weapons may not be pointing outward towards the user.
Ad Text Guidelines
- Ads must use proper, grammatically correct capitalization.
- Ads may not use excessive or random capitalization, such as BIG SALE or AmAzinG.
- Acronyms may be capitalized.
Grammar, sentence structure and spelling
- Spelling and grammar in the ad title and ad text must be correct, unless the incorrect grammar is part of the corporate or product branding.
- Ads cannot include excessive repetition (such as "free, free, free").
- Use of numbers or letters in place of words (Back 2 School Sale; Gr8 Deals 4 U) is prohibited unless part of a brand name, such as Toys ‘R Us.
- Ads must include logical, correct punctuation.
- Ads cannot contain repeated and unnecessary punctuation such as "Is someone looking for you?!?”
- Ad titles may not contain exclamation points.
- Exclamation points cannot be used in the title of any ad.
- The use of all symbols, numbers or letters must adhere to the true meaning of the symbol and ads cannot contain repeated and unnecessary symbols.
- Symbols may be used if the symbol is part of the product or brand name, paired with a dollar amount (e.g. "Save $50 today") or if the # symbol is used for comparative phrases (e.g. "Voted the #1").
- Masked vulgarity is not acceptable (e.g. “Huge A** Savings Today”, “Party Your Fu**in’ Pants Off”).
- Icons in ads (eg. bullets, arrows, markers, radio buttons) cannot distract users or make the ad appear cluttered.
- Numbers – Prices & Percentages
- Only one price or % allowed per product. This includes discounts and price reductions, such as 25% 50% off! or $99.99 $89.99 $79.99!
Use of fonts – font variety
- The use of multiple fonts in an ad should be limited to no more than three, and should be consistent throughout the creative (e.g. one font per ad text category—heading, call to action, body).
- Use of drop shadow or glow on ad text is not acceptable.
- Use of uncommon fonts or multiple font colors for the sole purpose of drawing attention/distracting the user is not acceptable.
- The font type guidelines above do not apply to corporate or product branding / logos, fonts within creative images or legal/required disclosure text within the ad.
Use of fonts – font size
- Depending on location, certain publishers may require adherence to specific font size guidelines in order to safeguard the user experience (example: Xbox Console).
- Advertisements must not have the look or feel normally associated with classified advertisements (e.g. cluttered and/or hard to read).
Each card requires a unique ad image.
Each card requires a unique ad title and description.
- Ad titles/descriptions that are too similar are not allowed. They are considered too similar when:
- They are the same except for one or two words.
- They contain the same words in different order.
- They are the same except for punctuation.
Privacy Policies, Personalization & Tracking
Personalization ad techniques: Ads cannot include “personalization” or personalized ad messaging and image techniques (including head shots) that give the user the impression that they will interact specifically with the person(s) highlighted within the campaign; includes the use of stacked, rotated, scrolling or layered images of multiple individuals (including head shots) representing their product. This restriction only applies to standard banner ads, not to native ads that are approved by the publisher to have stacked content (for example, the MSN Shopping Stripe)
- In accordance with IAB 3.0 standard terms:
- (XII. f.) Privacy Policies. Agency, Advertiser, and Media Company will post on their respective Web sites their privacy policies and adhere to their privacy policies, which will abide by applicable laws.
- Privacy Policies are required on all advertiser landing pages as well as on other pages of an advertiser's website that specifically collect personal information (e.g. name, email address) or other advertising related information.
Data Collection Within Ad Units
- AdCritter does not permit the collection of Personal Information from within ad creatives, unless there is prior authorization and appropriate disclosure and notification to users.
- Where Personal Information is collected on a landing page, users should be directed to a secure landing page for such data collection. Personal information includes, but is not limited to, information about someone that is personally identifiable such as name, address, email address or phone number, and that is not otherwise publicly available.
Online tracking technologies, such as web beacons, tracking pixels, etc., are strictly disallowed unless previously approved by AdCritter. Compliance with online privacy regulations and industry standards is required. It is entirely your responsibility as an advertiser to ensure compliance with applicable regulations.
AdCritter does not accept ads that originate from or represent trade with Cuba, Iran, Sudan, North Korea, Syria or the Crimea region of Ukraine - or any country subject to relevant U.S. embargo or trade sanction, or otherwise designated as restricted by AdCritter.
Adult Products and Services
Adult products and services are not acceptable.
Advertising for sexual enhancers, products aimed at increasing sex drive, increasing the size of sexual organs, and increasing sexual endurance is generally not acceptable. This includes but is not limited to films, magazines, websites, sex toys and entertainment/pornography.
Adult Content includes:
Humor, imagery, text, video or audio that is not appropriate for non-adults and includes:
- Illegal, non-consensual, denigrating, obscene, or violent activity, including bestiality, brutality, torture, death, illegal drug use, cruelty, prostitution, pedophilia, rape, incest, extreme or shocking sex, child pornography, strippers/strip clubs, escorts or content that relates to persons who are, or are suggested to be, under the legal age permitted in applicable jurisdictions are strictly prohibited.
- Any sexually suggestive images of children/teenagers/adults (male or female) are not allowed.
- Images focusing on or showing genitals, buttocks, and female nipples are not allowed.
Hard liquor, beer and wine advertising must comply with federal, state and local laws and regulations, as well as the following guidelines:
Hard liquor, beer and wine advertising is acceptable only on sites which have 72% of their traffic over the age of 21 as validated by an industry-accepted source of metrics (e.g. comScore) and are an appropriate context for alcohol advertising. If an advertiser is proposing alcohol advertising for a property that does not have comScore reporting, please contact your Account Manager.
- All advertisements for alcoholic beverages must contain a responsibility message on the actual creative.
- All landing pages must contain an age-screening mechanism.
- Demo-targeting to users 21+ may be required for certain placements in addition to compliance with these policies.
- Hard liquor advertising must, at a minimum, comply with the Code of Good Practices, adopted by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS).
- Beer advertising must, at a minimum, comply with the Beer Institute's Advertising and Marketing Code.
- Wine advertising must, at a minimum, comply with the Wine Institute's Code of Advertising Standards.
- All potential alcohol advertising must be sent to the AdCritter Ad Policy team for approval and must comply with the above and below guidelines.
Background Searches or Arrest Records
- Advertising for services that offer background checks and people searches may be acceptable.
- Advertising for arrest records and/or criminal backgrounds is not acceptable.
- Use of mugshots or references to criminal activity in advertising or on landing pages is not acceptable.
Advertising for beauty products is acceptable, provided it complies with these Policies and applicable regulations or guidance issued by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”). Advertisers may be required to submit third-party substantiation concerning such compliance.
Beauty products are acceptable if: a) the images are presented in good taste, b) the results are realistic, and c) all required messaging is included on the creative (e.g. simulated imagery).
- There should be no claim or implication that the product can prevent, treat or cure any disease.
- There should be no claim that the product has an effect on the structure or function of the body beyond visually perceived cosmetic enhancement.
- Claims must be supported by clinical studies, appropriate consumer testing and/or other scientific evidence.
- There should be no claim or implication that use of the product will result in any permanent or long-lasting change.
- Misleading comparisons to pharmaceuticals or surgical procedures are not acceptable.
- Advertising should not create false or overly optimistic expectations.
- Any before and after photographs/comparisons must not be presented in a deceptive manner.
Sexual Health Products
Due to the sensitive and personal nature of this product category, all potential ads are approved on a case-by-case basis. Determination of suitability of any given advertisement is at the sole discretion of AdCritter.
Ads are subject to the AdCritter Ad Policy team’s advance review and approval, and the following guidelines:
- Site must not promote escort services.
- Site must not promote "mail-order bride" services or any type of international matchmaking
- Creatives must not promote or imply casual sex and/or promiscuity (e.g. the presence of terms such as "discreet," "intimate," etc.).
- Creatives must not contain sexually suggestive language and/or lascivious body language.
- Creatives and/or site should not feature models in a manner that suggests they are under 18 years of age (e.g. model with pig tails or dressed in a school girl’s uniform).
- Creatives may not contain “personalized” ad messages (chat boxes, etc.)
- Creatives may not indicate or imply that users will meet or connect with fictitious or specific individuals
- Creatives may not contain more than one animation at a time.
- Creatives may not contain animation that contains elements that pop out at the user (search boxes, etc.)
Advertising for dietary supplements is acceptable. Ads for supplements that are promoted as or designed to be used for the purpose of weight loss may be restricted from running on certain properties or sites, at AdCritter’s discretion. Dietary supplements must comply with these Policies and all FDA and FTC regulations and guidance. Advertisers may be required to submit third-party substantiation concerning such compliance.
- All claims in advertisements must be substantiated in accordance with FTC’s Advertising Guide for Dietary Supplements.
- Unless expressly authorized by the FDA, a dietary supplement cannot make an express or implied claim to treat, prevent or cure any disease. Provided there is adequate substantiation, claims can be made that the product is intended to affect the structure or function of the body, as long as the claims comport with FDA regulations for structure/function claims. See 21 CFR 101.93 for guidance.
- There should be no implication that dietary supplements can replace or be equated with conventional foods.
Dietary supplements must be ingested by mouth. They cannot be inhaled or applied topically (e.g. a cream or transdermal patch).
- Misleading comparisons to pharmaceuticals or surgical procedures are not acceptable.
- Dietary supplement advertising should be directed to adults and should not appear in areas directed to users under 18.
- Advertising for dietary supplement products that contain human growth hormones (HGH) or human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) are not acceptable.
- Advertising for any supplement where there is reason to believe that the product could present significant health risks to a user is not acceptable. For example, advertising is not allowed for the following products: Ephedra, ephedrine products, and Ephedra-based or Ma Huang supplements.
- Herbal supplements that mimic the effect of illegal substances are not acceptable.
- When appropriate to ensure the advertisement is not misleading, the following disclaimer should be used: "This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease."
- The words "safe," "harmless," "without risk" or any words or phrases with similar meaning are not acceptable for dietary supplement advertising.
Advertising that facilitates the distribution, use or cultivation of illegal substances, substances of questionable legality or substances whose primary purpose is for recreational mind alteration is not acceptable.
Advertising that facilitates the distribution of drug paraphernalia, which is defined as any legitimate equipment, product or material that is modified for making, using or concealing recreational drugs is not acceptable.
Advertising for the following is prohibited:
- Medicinal or recreational marijuana products and derivatives, including marijuana-derived CBD
- Dispensaries, delivery methods, accessories and any services related to marijuana
Issue advocacy ads related to patient's rights that mention medical marijuana dispensaries and taxation (e.g. "Say yes to medical marijuana dispensaries and taxation") is acceptable provided the advertisements comply with AdCritter's advertising policies for political and issue advocacy contained herein.
Issue advocacy ads and political advertising related to the legalization of marijuana are acceptable provided the advertisements comply with AdCritter's Advertising Policies for political and issue advocacy contained herein.
Public health and safety messages related to marijuana are allowed with pre-approval by the AdCritter Ad Policy Team.
Marijuana - Investments
Investment ads must comply with the following guidelines, in addition to our policies for "Investment Advice":
- Per our policy for "Single Securities," ads may not promote specific companies by name or stock symbol.
- Ad creative may not feature marijuana plants, symbols or imagery
- Ads may not suggest the sale of marijuana products
Financial Products & Services
- AdCritter does not accept ads for credit repair services that market services to remove negative credit history that legitimately appears on a user's credit report.
Advertising for a government grant or economic stimulus check-related products or services are not acceptable.
- Advertisers who promote financial products and services must ensure they comply with all applicable local laws and regulatory requirements. Advertisers may be asked to provide evidence of license upon request.
- All landing pages contain a clear and prominent disclaimer explaining the risks involved (e.g. investing in stock markets involves the risk of loss).
- Claims of financial rewards that are deemed unreasonable must be substantiated.
- Ads must include links to third-party accreditation/endorsement where affiliation is implied or stated. Examples include, but are not limited to, verification of government affiliation, industry groups and third-party ratings.
- Ads must provide accurate physical contact information for the business being promoted.
- Ads can’t guarantee loan modification or foreclosure prevention.
Payday Loan/Cash Advance Companies
Advertising for payday loan/cash advance companies is acceptable, provided the advertiser complies with all applicable laws and regulations, including but not limited to the Federal Truth-in-Lending Act and state payday, deferred presentment and other consumer credit and usury laws, as applicable.
All such potential advertisements must be sent to the AdCritter Ad Policy team for approval.
- Advertisers must be in good standing with state regulatory authorities, hold current state licenses in states that require licensing and produce satisfactory evidence of licensure upon request.
- Advertisers must also be members of at least one of the following associations: The Community Financial Services Association of America, The Online Lenders Alliance or the Financial Service Centers of America.
- Note: If advertiser has a storefront, please let the AdCritter Ad Policy team know as part of the review.
Penny auctions, also known as bidding fee auctions, are not acceptable.
Ads that promote an investment opportunity in a Single Security, or a particular Penny Stock, are not acceptable.
Firearms, Weapons, and Fireworks
Advertising or promotion of the following is not acceptable:
- Firearms, firearms parts, accessories and ammunition
- Paintball guns, air-soft guns and BB guns
- Knives and blunt objects created for use as weapons
- Handgun safety certificates
- Military ordnance and grenades, even if the item has been "demilitarized”
- Fireworks and other explosives
- Electronic Control Devices, such as tasers and stun guns
Gambling: Casinos and Offline Locations
Advertising for sites promoting offline gambling establishments or events in accordance with local, state and federal laws and regulations are acceptable; however, any potential advertising opportunities involving offline gambling will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the AdCritter Ad Policy team.
- Advertising for sites promoting offline gambling establishments such as casinos or race tracks, and events such as the Kentucky Derby, is acceptable, provided the sites:
- do not falsely or unfairly raise hopes and expectations of winning;
- are in conformance with all legal requirements including, but not limited to, 18 U.S.C. 1304 and provide documentation of state licensing, if applicable;
- do not include or link to unlawful (i) online gambling opportunities or (ii) online gaming sites that leverage gambling-like behavior.
- Ads for offline gambling establishments must be in context of the area(s) in which they are promoted (e.g. promoted by locale–or within the context of vacationing or traveling).
- Advertising for legitimate state-run lotteries is acceptable. A “lottery” is defined as a promotion in which all elements of consideration, chance and prize are present. Such sites must not include or link to (i) online gambling opportunities or (ii) online gaming sites that leverage gambling-like behavior.
Promotion of lotteries outside of their legally permitted area is not allowed.
Gambling and Gaming (Online)
Advertising for gambling sites based in the United States is permitted where the site is licensed or otherwise authorized under the law of a state to offer such gambling. Advertisers must 1) show that the site is licensed or otherwise authorized to offer gambling in a particular state or states, and 2) describe how they comply with any location requirements imposed by state or local law (e.g., any requirements that only persons physically present in the state or certain other states may bet on the site).
Advertising for websites offering online gambling on sports events or contests, or sports odds, directed at players located in the U.S. is acceptable in states where legally permissible and where above requirements are met. Advertising opportunities involving sports betting will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the AdCritter Ad Policy team.
- Advertising must not misrepresent or glorify the benefits of gambling or encourage people to play beyond their means.
- Advertising may not imply or suggest that gambling is a viable alternative to employment or financial investments, a way to recover from financial losses or that skills may affect the outcome of a game of chances.
- Information on the odds of winning and prize amounts must be described accurately and must not be misrepresented. Advertisers may not present winning as the most probable outcome of the game, nor misrepresent a person’s chance of winning a prize.
- Targeting minors is not allowed. Advertising must not be directed toward individuals under the applicable minimum age to participate in online gambling or served in a context where it is highly likely it will be displayed to such individuals. This includes, but is not limited to, the use of language, themes, expressions, graphic resources, audio or visual elements that may appeal to underage individuals, or using individuals who are or appear to be underage in promotional content or on the website.
Advertising for free online gaming sites is acceptable, per the following guidelines. AdCritter will accept advertisements for 1) web sites that allow users to play casino-style games for free and 2) sites that offer instruction or other information on how to play casino-style games. Sites are subject to the following guidelines:
- Gaming sites may not link to or promote in any way any web site featuring online sports gambling. This prohibition includes any software downloaded from the site, dropping desktop shortcuts/icons, or in any communications, including emails, with users of the site.
- Gaming sites may link to or promote an online gambling site offering non-sports gambling if that gambling site is based in the United States and is licensed or otherwise authorized by the law of a state to offer such gambling. The gaming site must 1) show that the gambling site is licensed or otherwise authorized to offer gambling in a particular state or states, and 2) describe how the gambling site complies with any location requirements imposed by state or local law (e.g. any requirements that only persons physically present in the state or certain other states may bet on the site).
- If the advertiser desires to offer a premium game site where participants pay a standard fee in order to join, then the advertiser must provide a written legal opinion that the charging of money and awarding of prizes or money is done in a manner that complies with all 50 states' laws, federal laws and other applicable laws and regulations.
- The gaming site must represent and warrant that its sole intent in entering into the advertising agreement with AdCritter is to promote its free site and any U.S.-based online gambling site that is licensed or authorized by the law of a state to offer non-sports gambling, and that it will not use this agreement to market, promote, offer or distribute in any manner any online sports gambling, or any online non-sports gambling if that site, or a paid site that it promotes or links to, is not licensed or authorized by the law of a state to offer such gambling.
- The gaming site must have a different look, feel, and logo than any paid/gambling site that offers sports gambling or is not licensed or authorized by a state to offer non-sports gambling, including sites that share the same name but are located at a different domain (e.g. .net sites).
- All advertising creative is subject to AdCritter’s advance review and approval and cannot be changed once approved. Gaming sites may be required to provide AdCritter with consumer communications such as standard welcome emails and email newsletters.
- Advertising for sites offering any product or program that claims to increase the likelihood of winning (e.g. computer programs that enhance the accuracy of a bet) is not acceptable.
- Any sites that have the same name as, but are located at a different domain name than, a paid/gambling site (e.g. .net sites) that offers sports gambling or that offers non-sports gambling but is not licensed in or otherwise authorized to offer such betting by the law of a state, must meet the following criteria in addition to the above:
- Only basic advertising purchases are permitted. No revenue sharing or any other payment structure based on click-thrus or other metrics is permitted.
- The advertising agreement shall require the advertiser to provide AdCritter with a minimum of 5 business days prior written notice of any intention to link to the paid gambling site. Failure to provide such notice shall constitute material breach of the agreement.
- Payments to AdCritter under the agreement shall not come from the paid gambling site.
At all times while ad campaigns are running, advertisers must be in compliance with all applicable regulations, including the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), as well as industry best practices.
- Targeting to 21+ is required.
- Advertising for daily fantasy sports is only allowed where permitted by state or local law.
Health Services and Medical Devices
Ads for health care providers, medical services, medical spas, cosmetic surgery providers, hospitals, clinics and medical devices must comply with all applicable legislation, including licensing or registration requirements, if required.
Over the Counter Drugs
Advertising for non-prescription drugs is acceptable, provided that it complies with these Policies and applicable regulations or guidance issued by the FDA and FTC. Advertisers may be required to submit third-party substantiation concerning such compliance.
Advertising for non-prescription drugs should provide factual information about such products, avoid overstatements of their capabilities and advise consumers to read and follow label directions. Advertisers must include a link to a site that lists the full range of health benefits, risks and other relevant information concerning use of the non-prescription drug.
Advertising for non-prescription drugs is not acceptable in areas directed to kids.
Advertising for non-prescription drugs is acceptable in areas directed to teens but must be approved by the AdCritter Ad Policy team.
Advertising should be confined to those symptoms and conditions for which the product is indicated. Advertising may not claim or imply that the product can be used for off-label uses. Representations which overstate a product’s effects are unacceptable.
Depictions of before-and-after product use situations should indicate an adequate and accurate time lapse if the product does not provide immediate relief.
Advertising should not portray a casual attitude toward the use of a medication or employ representations associated with the drug culture.
Non-prescription medication may not be equated or compared to prescription drugs. However, a reference to the heritage of a nonprescription drug, which was previously available only by prescription, is permitted.
The words “safe,” “harmless,” “without risk,” or any words or phrases with similar meaning are not acceptable.
Commercial copy should not dramatize distressing symptoms or morbid situations associated with specific illnesses or diseases, nor should it describe internal or external functions of the body in an objectionable manner.
Products that are not expressly subject to an approved FDA new drug application (NDA) may not be advertised as “FDA-approved.”
All personal hygiene products must be gender and age targeted with stringent standards of taste required. Graphic messaging, images, audio or video depictions of products, their use, or references to specific areas of the anatomy are not acceptable.
All advertising must comply with the guidance from the FDA.
Allowed with the following restrictions:
- Non-branded Pharmaceutical advertisers who are promoting informational data about a product or drug.
- Non-branded Pharmaceutical advertisers who mention the drug brand name but do not mention the disease or condition (brand building "reminder" ads).
- Fair Balance animation is allowed to animate as required by the FDA as long as it is stand-alone from the "static panel" promotional animation (limited to 15 seconds). Fair balance animation that may follow the promotional animation should not extend or otherwise intermingle with the 15 second static panel but can run until fair balance information is presented.
Pharmacies and Other Prescription Drug Resellers
Pharmacies must be well-known, reputable companies that require an actual doctor's prescription to purchase medication, and must be accredited by VIPPS, Legitscript or other NABP certification programs.
- Advertising for prescription drugs is not acceptable in areas directed to kids and teens.
- Advertising for prescription drugs should in no way glamorize the product or otherwise encourage excessive, irresponsible or improper drug use.
- Advertisers are required to comply with all applicable laws where they are targeting their ads. Compliance with the policies noted in this document, does not necessarily constitute legal compliance.
Manufacturers are not required to have certification to advertise, as long as they do not sell their prescription medicines online.
Advertising for movies, videos and events is acceptable, subject to the following guidelines:
- All advertising for domestic motion pictures and motion picture videos must carry either an MPAA rating or a disclosure that such rating has not yet been assigned.
- Placement of advertising is determined on the basis of audience composition and program/area compatibility.
Music and Concerts
Advertising for music, music videos, and musical events is acceptable, subject to the following specific placement and labeling guidelines.
All advertising for recordings that carry the Parental Advisory label must communicate the presence of explicit content (in accordance with Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) standards) and may only be placed in areas with appropriate context and audience composition.
Advertising for online games or offline video games/programs is acceptable. Games must carry either an ESRB rating or a disclosure that such rating has not yet been assigned. Guidelines for placement of ESRB ratings must follow https://www.esrb.org/publishers/ArcManual.aspx.
- Placement of advertising is determined on the basis of audience composition and program/area compatibility.
Hemp and CBD
Advertising for non-ingestible hemp and CBD products (e.g. lotions, creams, salves, oils) are acceptable on a case-by-case basis. The product must be derived from industrial hemp and intended for topical use only. Marijuana-derived CBD is not allowed.
- Creatives must not feature marijuana plants, symbols or imagery
- Creatives and landing page must not:
- Offer sale of marijuana or ingestible CBD (for humans or animals)
- Refer to marijuana, THC, or cannabis. References to cannabidiol are acceptable
- Contain any suggestion of CBD product consumption (e.g. that the oil is an ingredient in or should be added to food or beverage)
- Contain any suggestion of mind-altering effects
- Contain any misleading or unsubstantiated physical or mental health claims
- Examples of misleading health claims include claims that product:
- Can treat or minimize the effects of diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, fibromyalgia and neuropsychiatric disorders (e.g. depression, anxiety, seizures, migraine headaches, addiction, eating disorders)
- Has anti-nausea, anti-convulsive, anti-inflammatory and anti-pain properties
- Each advertiser must be vetted and whitelisted by the Ad Policy team.
- Examples of misleading health claims include claims that product:
AdCritter reserves the right to revoke whitelist status if campaigns are found to be non-compliant at any point after initial clearance.
Subscriptions or Negative Option Marketing
The phrase “negative option marketing” refers to a category of commercial transactions in which sellers interpret a customer’s failure to take an affirmative action, either to reject an offer or cancel an agreement, as assent to be charged for goods or services. A popular form of negative option marketing is a trial offer structured as a free-to-pay or nominal fee-to-pay conversion plan, wherein consumers receive a good or service for free (or at a nominal price) for an introductory period. They only incur a charge or pay a greater amount if they do not take affirmative action to cancel, reject, or return the good or service before the end of the trial period.
AdCritter generally will not accept advertising from companies that utilize negative option pricing plans.
AdCritter will accept, at our sole discretion, advertising from companies utilizing a negative option pricing plan if the advertiser complies with the following guidelines:
- Discloses material terms of an offer, including a description of the goods or services being offered and their price, in an understandable manner, without making them unnecessarily long or inconsistent
- Makes all disclosures clear and conspicuous by placing them directly adjacent to the negative option offer indicating their importance and relevance and by using easy-to-read fonts and colors
- Discloses the offer’s material terms before obtaining consumers’ billing information;
- Obtains consumers’ express, informed consent to be billed by, for example, having them click “I Agree” and without relying on pre-checked boxes
- Provides simple cancellation mechanisms and honors cancellation requests (i.e., has a reliable customer service operation), and
- Is in good standing with any of the various business ratings organizations (e.g., Better Business Bureau (BBB)).
AdCritter defines political ads as ads related to a candidate for an elected office or an issue that will appear on an upcoming ballot. They may also include ads intended to raise awareness on certain political or social issues.
It is acceptable to make political advertising opportunities available to candidates, political committees, political parties and other groups or individuals, subject to the restrictions below. Advertisers must be based in the country where the political ads are targeted. The billing location must match the targeted country.
AdCritter limits political opportunities to advertisers who have received explicit pre-approval.
- Ads for state and local campaigns and ballot measures are not permitted in the states of California, New Jersey, New York and Washington.
- Advertisements may contain a link or directly link to a website that contains further positions or views if those positions or views conform to the guidelines set forth herein.
- Political advertising shall not be placed in a context or location that would make it misleading, deceptive or otherwise violate AdCritter's standards. Political advertising may be geographically targeted and/or demographically targeted.
- All political advertising must comply with all applicable federal laws, including without limitation all federal election laws, FEC regulations, and (where applicable) state or local laws and regulations, and such compliance shall be the sole responsibility of the advertiser.
- All political advertising must clearly identify who paid for the communication and whether or not it was authorized by a candidate and/or organization on the ad banner, video or link prior to click-thru or viewing of content. Unauthorized ads must also include contact information for the sponsoring organization. "Paid for by" disclosure must be clear and conspicuous (i.e., easily identifiable by contrasting color and font on the ad banner or video).
- Political advertising cannot give the appearance that AdCritter supports or favors any particular candidate, party or political agenda.
Political Issue Advertising
- Advertising for organizations and individuals who wish to raise awareness on certain political and social issues is acceptable. Determination of suitability of any given issue or advertisement is at the sole discretion of AdCritter.
- All issue advertising must clearly identify who paid for the communication and whether or not it was authorized by a candidate and/or organization on the ad banner, video or link prior to click-thru or viewing of content. Unauthorized ads must also include contact information for the sponsoring organization. "Paid for by" disclosure must be clear and conspicuous (e.g. easily identifiable by contrasting color and font on the ad banner or video).
- All potential political issue advertising opportunities must be approved by the AdCritter Ad Policy team.
- Non-political advertising
- Advertising may not promote extreme political or extreme religious agendas or any known associations with hate, criminal or terrorist activities.
- Commercial advertising may not exploit political agendas or use "hot button" political issues or names of prominent politicians for commercial unauthorized political campaign use. For example, an ad may not refer to the immigration policy of the current administration to deliver a travel ad. But a candidate may counter his/her opponent on the basis of his/her stand on immigration reforms.
Advertising for religious and spiritual products (e.g., décor, books, music, greeting cards, jewelry) and organizations (e.g. singles groups, camps, schools) is acceptable subject to the following guidelines:
- Ad must not contain subject matter or content likely to offend or upset consumers, including language being used to proselytize a particular religion.
- Ad must accurately reflect content on the website.
- The name of the organization or sponsor must be clearly identified on the ad banner, video or link prior to click-thru or viewing of content.
- Central focus of the advertisement must not be the solicitation of funds. Advertisement may not directly link to a page solely dedicated to Join/Contribute/Support areas of the organization's site; those topics may represent a small portion of the overall content on the linked page.
Psychics, Tarot Readings, Fortune Tellers
Advertising for psychics, tarot or fortune telling is prohibited.
Social Media Landing Pages
- Ads may link to a “public” social networking account page (e.g. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter) that is controlled by the advertiser, provided the ad is otherwise compliant with these policies.
- Using a sign-in page or requirement must be for a specific reason, such as for ads with age-restricted content. Advertisers can require page "likes" or application integration on social media sites before giving users access to ad offers.
- Ads cannot contain Facebook platform integrations, such as the Facebook Like button, Share button or Feeds.
Software & Downloads
Software must not include viruses, or perform malicious behaviors intended to compromise the security of the device or harm the device, other applications or personal data.
- Applications that collect user information or track device use without the user’s knowledge are not allowed.
- Advertisers must not require a signup as a condition of a free download.
- Ads from an application may not interfere with other applications or the ads on other applications.
- Uninstall functionality cannot be difficult or conditional. Misleading claims about negative effects to the user's device or privacy should an application be uninstalled are not allowed.
All relevant information must be disclosed to consumers before install. These disclosures include but are not limited to:
- Description of the download and what is included in the download.
- Actions and effects that the software will have on the user's device and settings.
AdCritter reserves the right to refuse advertising for third parties' promotion of software downloads including software bundles. This may include, but is not limited to downloads or download bundles that include Tor Project browser software.
Advertising for testosterone boosters are prohibited.
Advertising for tobacco or products containing tobacco is prohibited. This includes cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco or any other preparation of tobacco, regardless of nicotine content.
Advertising for tobacco-related products, products that form a component of a tobacco product and products and services that directly facilitate or promote tobacco consumption, is prohibited. This includes cigarette papers, blunt wraps, pipes, filters and hookahs, or any other instrument or paraphernalia designed for the smoking or ingestion of tobacco, as well as hookah lounges and cigar bars, for example.
Advertising for products that simulate tobacco smoking is prohibited. This includes herbal cigarettes, electronic cigarettes and vaporizer delivery devices, including the cartridges and liquid solutions that are used in such devices, even if marketed as a smoking cessation or reduced-risk product.
Advertising for products that are clearly intended for smoking cessation is allowed.
Weight Reduction and Control
The advertising of in-person programs or surgery for the reduction, gain and control of weight is acceptable and must comply with established nutritional evidence and medical opinion, as well as the guidelines set forth below. Advertising for weight control in areas directed to kids or teens is not acceptable.
Ads with photos that appear to have been altered may not be accepted.
Advertisements must be in good taste, and may not stigmatize overweight individuals.
Such advertising must neither depict children using the products and services nor be directed to them.