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Here are the current YouTube Branded Content guidelines

Add paid product placements, sponsorships & endorsements

Note: This article was updated in January 2021 to include a list of products and services where you should not include paid promotions.

You may include paid product placements, endorsements, sponsorships, or other content that requires disclosure to viewers in your videos. 

If you choose to include any of the above, you have to let us know by selecting the paid promotion box in your video details. See instructions below.

All paid promotions need to follow our Ad Policies and Community Guidelines. You and the brands you work with are responsible for understanding and complying with their local and legal obligations to disclose Paid Promotion in their content. Some of these obligations include when and how to disclose, and to whom to disclose.

Where not to include paid product placements, sponsorships & endorsements

Following our Ad Policies means you cannot include paid promotions of the following products and services in your content:

  • Illegal products or services
  • Sex or escort services
  • Adult content
  • Mail-order brides
  • Recreational drugs
  • Pharmaceuticals without a prescription
  • Online gambling sites not yet reviewed by Google or YouTube
  • Services to cheat on exams or tests
  • Hacking, phishing, or spyware
  • Explosives
  • Fraudulent or misleading businesses

This policy applies to videos, video descriptions, comments, live streams, and any other YouTube product or feature. This list is non-exhaustive. Don’t post content if you think it might violate this policy. 


Here are some examples of content that’s not allowed on YouTube.

  • Paid promotion of an academic essay-writing service
  • Paid promotion of a website selling counterfeit passports or providing instructions on creating forged official documents
  • Paid promotion of software that generates fake credit card numbers
  • Paid promotion of an online pharmacy that sells regulated pharmaceuticals without prescriptions

What happens if your content violates this policy

If your content violates this policy, we’ll remove the content and send you an email to let you know. If this violation is your first time violating our Community Guidelines, you’ll get a warning with no penalty to your channel. If it’s not, we’ll issue a strike against your channel. If you get 3 strikes, your channel will be terminated. You can learn more about our strikes system here

In addition, we may age-restrict content if the product or service being promoted is not suitable for all ages.

What do we mean when we talk about paid product placements, sponsorships & endorsements?

Paid product placements are pieces of content that are created for a third party in exchange for compensation. This content is also where the third party’s brand, message, or product is integrated directly into the content.

Endorsements are content created for an advertiser (or for a creator’s own brands if the relationship between creator/brand is not clear) with a message that users are likely to believe reflects the opinions of the content creator.

Sponsorships are  pieces of content that have been financed in whole or in part by a third party. Sponsorships generally promote the brand, message or product of the third party without integrating the brand, message, or product directly into the content.

Note that laws that apply to you may define paid promotions differently. Creators and brands are responsible for understanding and fully following legal obligations to disclose paid promotion in their content according to their jurisdiction. Legal obligations might include when and how to disclose and to whom to disclose.

Creators and brands should also understand whether specific types of paid promotions are permitted under their local laws. For instance, in the UK and EU, certain videos classified as “children’s programmes” under the Audiovisual Media Services Directive may be prohibited from including sponsorships or paid product placements.

Do I need to tell YouTube if a video has a paid product placement, endorsement, or other commercial relationship?

If your content has a paid product placement, endorsement, or other commercial relationship, you need to tell YouTube so that we can facilitate disclosures to users. Note that you may have more obligations depending on the laws in your jurisdiction. If you don’t follow those obligations, we may act against your content or account. To tell YouTube:

  1. On a computer, sign in to YouTube Studio.
  2. From the left section, select Content.
  3. Click the video you’d like to edit.
  4. Select More options
  5. Check the box next to “My video contains paid promotion like a product placement, sponsorship, or endorsement.”
  6. Select SAVE.

For more info, go to the “What happens when I check the ‘My video contains paid promotion like a product placement, sponsorship, or endorsement’ section.

What happens when I check the “My video contains paid promotion like a product placement, sponsorship, or endorsement” box?

When you check the “video contains paid promotion” box under the “Content declaration” section in your Advanced Settings, you’re helping maintain a great viewer experience.

We’ll still run ads against these videos. When you tell us that a video includes paid promotion, we may replace an ad that conflicts with your brand partner with an alternative ad. Also, when you tell us, we’ll remove your video from the YouTube Kids app in line with our existing policies.

Will YouTube still run ads against these videos?

Yes, YouTube will still run ads against these videos.

Sometimes, we may replace an ad that conflicts with your brand partner’s ad with a different ad on videos with paid promotions. This replacement is done to protect the value we offer advertisers.

For example, say you upload a video with brand mentions and product placements for Company A. It wouldn’t make sense to sell ad space around that video to Company B.

Do I need to tell anyone else about any commercial relationship connected to my video?

You may need to. Different jurisdictions have various requirements for creators and brands involved in paid promotion. 

When your content includes paid promotion, some jurisdictions and brand partners require that you tell viewers about any commercial relationship that might have influenced your content. It’s your responsibility to check and comply with laws and regulations around paid promotion content that apply to you. See more resources below.

Is there a feature that can help me inform viewers about Paid Promotion in my videos?

Yes. Whenever you mark your video as containing paid promotions, we automatically show viewers a disclosure message for 10 seconds at the beginning of the video. This disclosure message will tell the viewer that it contains paid promotions. 

Note that different jurisdictions have various requirements for creators and brands involved in paid promotion that may require you to do more. Be sure to check and follow applicable laws. 

Does this mean I can burn video ads (pre-rolls, mid rolls, and post rolls) into my videos?

No. YouTube’s Ads Policy doesn’t let you burn or embed advertiser-created and supplied video ads or other commercial breaks into your content. 

If you have an advertiser interested in serving ads specifically against your content, work with your partner manager. See more info on our policies around third party embedded sponsorships.

This policy doesn’t apply to videos created by or for brands and uploaded to the brand’s YouTube channel. 

Can I use a title card before/after the video with the marketer’s or sponsor’s brand name & product info?

Yes. We allow static title cards and end cards where there’s a paid promotion. These title cards and end cards can include graphics and the sponsor or marketer’s logo and product branding.

  • Title cards: 5 seconds or less and static. If they’re placed at the beginning of the video (0:01s), the card must be co-branded with the creator’s name/logo.
  • End cards: Placed within the last 30 seconds of the video and must be static. 

Prohibited content

Counterfeit goods

Google Ads prohibits the sale or promotion for sale of counterfeit goods. Counterfeit goods contain a trademark or logo that is identical to or substantially indistinguishable from the trademark of another. They mimic the brand features of the product in an attempt to pass themselves off as a genuine product of the brand owner. This policy applies to the content of your ad and your website or app. 

Dangerous products or services

We want to help keep people safe both online and offline, so we don’t allow the promotion of some products or services that cause damage, harm, or injury.

Examples of dangerous content: Recreational drugs (chemical or herbal); psychoactive substances; equipment to facilitate drug use; weapons, ammunition, explosive materials and fireworks; instructions for making explosives or other harmful products; tobacco products

Enabling dishonest behavior

We value honesty and fairness, so we don’t allow the promotion of products or services that are designed to enable dishonest behavior.

Examples of products or services that enable dishonest behavior: Hacking software or instructions; services designed to artificially inflate ad or website traffic; fake documents; academic cheating services

Inappropriate content

We value diversity and respect for others, and we strive to avoid offending users, so we don’t allow ads or destinations that display shocking content or promote hatred, intolerance, discrimination, or violence.

Examples of inappropriate or offensive content: bullying or intimidation of an individual or group, racial discrimination, hate group paraphernalia, graphic crime scene or accident images, cruelty to animals, murder, self-harm, extortion or blackmail, sale or trade of endangered species, ads using profane language

Prohibited practices

Abusing the ad network

We want ads across the Google Network to be useful, varied, relevant, and safe for users. We don’t allow advertisers to run ads, content, or destinations that attempt to trick or circumvent our ad review processes.

Examples of abuse of the ad network: promoting content that contains malware; “cloaking” or using other techniques to hide the true destination that users are directed to; “arbitrage” or promoting destinations for the sole or primary purpose of showing ads; promoting “bridge” or “gateway” destinations that are solely designed to send users elsewhere; advertising with the sole or primary intent of gaining public social network endorsements from the user; “gaming” or manipulating settings in an attempt to circumvent our policy review systems

Data collection and use

We want users to trust that information about them will be respected and handled with appropriate care. As such, our advertising partners should not misuse this information, nor collect it for unclear purposes or without appropriate disclosures or security measures.

Note that additional policies apply when using personalized advertising, which includes remarketing and custom audiences. If you use personalized advertising targeting features, be sure to review the personalized ads data collection and use policies.

Examples of user information that should be handled with care: full name; email address; mailing address; phone number; national identity, pension, social security, tax ID, health care, or driver’s license number; birth date or mother’s maiden name in addition to any of the above information; financial status; political affiliation; sexual orientation; race or ethnicity; religion

Examples of irresponsible data collection & use: obtaining credit card information over a non-secure server, promotions that claim to know a user’s sexual orientation or financial status, violations of our policies that apply to interest-based advertising and remarketing


We want users to trust the ads on our platform, so we strive to ensure ads are clear and honest, and provide the information that users need to make informed decisions. We don’t allow ads or destinations that deceive users by excluding relevant product information or providing misleading information about products, services, or businesses.

Examples of misrepresentation: omitting or obscuring billing details such as how, what, and when users will be charged; omitting or obscuring charges associated with financial services such as interest rates, fees, and penalties; failing to display tax or licence numbers, contact information, or physical address where relevant; making offers that aren’t actually available; making misleading or unrealistic claims regarding weight loss or financial gain; collecting donations under false pretenses; “phishing” or falsely purporting to be a reputable company in order to get users to part with valuable personal or financial information

Restricted content and features

The policies below cover content that is sometimes legally or culturally sensitive. Online advertising can be a powerful way to reach customers, but in sensitive areas, we also work hard to avoid showing these ads when and where they might be inappropriate.

For that reason, we allow the promotion of the content below, but on a limited basis. These promotions may not show to every user in every location, and advertisers may need to meet additional requirements before their ads are eligible to run. Note that not all ad products, features, or networks are able to support this restricted content. Further details can be found in the Policy Center.

Default Ads Treatment

Google is committed to delivering a safe and trustworthy ad experience for all users. That’s why we limit serving certain types of ad categories for users that aren’t signed in or users that our systems indicate are under 18.

Sexual content

Ads should respect user preferences and comply with legal regulations, so we don’t allow certain kinds of sexual content in ads and destinations.  Some kinds of sexual content in ads and destinations are allowed only if they comply with the policies below and don’t target minors, but they will only show in limited scenarios based on user search queries, user age, and local laws where the ad is being served. 

Learn about what happens if you violate our policies.

Examples of restricted sexual content: Visible genitalia and female breasts, hook-up dating, sex toys, strip clubs, sexually suggestive live chat, and models in sexualized poses.


We abide by local alcohol laws and industry standards, so we don’t allow certain kinds of alcohol-related advertising, both for alcohol and drinks that resemble alcohol. Some types of alcohol-related ads are allowed if they meet the policies below, don’t target minors, and target only countries that are explicitly allowed to show alcohol ads.

Examples of restricted alcoholic beverages: beer, wine, sake, spirits or hard alcohol, Champagne, fortified wine, non-alcoholic beer, non-alcoholic wine, and non-alcoholic distilled spirits


We abide by local copyright laws and protect the rights of copyright holders, so we don’t allow ads that are unauthorized to use copyrighted content. If you are legally authorized to use copyrighted content, apply for certification to advertise. If you see unauthorized content, submit a copyright-related complaint.

Gambling and games

We support responsible gambling advertising and abide by local gambling laws and industry standards, so we don’t allow certain kinds of gambling-related advertising. Gambling-related ads are allowed if they comply with the policies below and the advertiser has received the proper Google Ads certification. Gambling ads must target approved countries, have a landing page that displays information about responsible gambling, and never target minors. Check local regulations for the areas you want to target.

Examples of restricted gambling-related content: physical casinos; sites where users can bet on poker, bingo, roulette, or sports events; national or private lotteries; sports odds aggregator sites; sites offering bonus codes or promotional offers for gambling sites; online educational materials for casino-based games; sites offering “poker-for-fun” games; non-casino-based cash game sites

Healthcare and medicines

We are dedicated to following advertising regulations for healthcare and medicine, so we expect that ads and destinations follow appropriate laws and industry standards. Some healthcare-related content can’t be advertised at all, while others can only be advertised if the advertiser is certified with Google and targets only approved countries. Check local regulations for the areas you want to target.

Political content

We support responsible political advertising and expect all political ads and destinations to comply with local campaign and election laws for any areas they target. This policy includes legally mandated election “silence periods.”  

Examples of political content: promotion of political parties or candidates, political issue advocacy

Financial services

We want users to have adequate information to make informed financial decisions. Our policies are designed to give users information to weigh the costs associated with financial products and services, and to protect users from harmful or deceitful practices. For the purposes of this policy, we consider financial products and services to be those related to the management or investment of money and cryptocurrencies, including personalized advice.

When promoting financial products and services, you must comply with state and local regulations for any region or country that your ads target — for example, include specific disclosures required by local law. Refer to our non-exhaustive list of country-specific requirements for more information but note that advertisers are expected to do their own research on the local regulations for any location their ads target.


There are multiple factors that determine when trademarks can be used in ads. Along with the factors described in our Policy Center, these policies apply only when a trademark owner has submitted a valid complaint to Google.

There are multiple factors that determine when trademarks can be used in ads. Along with the factors described in our Policy Center, these policies apply only when a trademark owner has submitted a valid complaint to Google.

Legal requirements

You’re always responsible for ensuring that you comply with all applicable laws and regulations, in addition to Google’s advertising policies, for all of the locations where your ads are showing.

Other restricted businesses

We restrict certain kinds of businesses from advertising with us to prevent users from being exploited, even if individual businesses appear to comply with our other policies. Based on our own continuous reviews, and feedback from users, regulators, and consumer protection authorities, we occasionally identify products or services that are prone to abuse. If we feel that certain kinds of businesses pose an unreasonable risk to user safety or user experience, then we may limit or stop related ads from running.

Restricted ad formats and features

There are multiple factors that determine access to advanced ad formats and features on Google Ads. Certain ad formats are not available for all advertisers until they meet our specific requirements or complete the certification process.

Requirements for made for kids content

Advertisers may not run personalized ads on content set as made for kidsSee here for categories restricted for advertising on made for kids content.

Editorial & technical requirements

We want to deliver ads that are engaging for users without being annoying or difficult to interact with, so we’ve developed editorial requirements to help keep your ads appealing to users. We’ve also specified technical requirements to help users and advertisers get the most out of the variety of ad formats we offer.


In order to provide a quality user experience, Google requires that all ads, assets, and destinations meet high professional and editorial standards. We only allow ads that are clear, professional in appearance, and that lead users to content that is relevant, useful, and easy to interact with.

Examples of promotions that don’t meet these editorial and professional requirements:

  • overly generic ads that contain vague phrases such as “Buy products here”
  • gimmicky use of words, numbers, letters, punctuation, or symbols such as FREE, f-r-e-e, and F₹€€!!

Destination requirements

We want consumers to have a good experience when they click on an ad, so ad destinations must offer unique value to users and be functional, useful, and easy to navigate.

Examples of promotions that don’t meet destination requirements:

  • a display URL that does not accurately reflect the URL of the landing page, such as “” taking users to “”
  • sites or apps that are under construction, parked domains, or are just not working
  • sites that are not viewable in commonly used browsers
  • sites that have disabled the browser’s back button

Technical requirements

To help us keep ads clear and functional, advertisers must meet our technical requirements.

Ad format requirements

In order to help you provide a quality user experience and deliver attractive, professional-looking ads, we only allow ads that comply with specific requirements for each ad format. Review the requirements for all ad formats that you’re using.

Note that we don’t allow Non-family safe ads in image ads, video ads, and other non-text ad formats. Read more about our Adult content policy.

Advertisers participating in beta programs of new ad formats should reach out to their Google Ads representatives or Google Ads customer support to learn about format-specific policy requirements.

Examples of ad format requirements: character limits for the ad headline or body, image size requirements, file size limits, video length limits, aspect ratios

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