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Google denies mass search ad disapprovals or bugs with ad policy enforcement

Over the past day or so, there has been an unusual spike in the number of complaints around Google Ads disapproving search ads. The disapprovals mostly seem to be around a policy named the “government documents and official services,” and it is confusing a lot of advertisers.

Google has stated there is no bug with the with its ad policy enforcement and Google has not seen any mass disapprovals of search ads.

Google’s statement. Ginny Marvin, the Google Ads Liaison said on Twitter “safety is paramount and our policies span range of concerns, including the content of ad creatives and advertiser behavior. The issues addressed in this story aren’t related. We also haven’t seen any “mass” disapprovals that would indicate a bug.”

I followed up to ask if maybe there was a step up in policy enforcement and Ginny Marvin said “No, and there’ve been no “mass” disapprovals.”

“The teams are keenly aware that policy flags are disruptive and work incredibly hard to strike the right balance. Safety is critical to a healthy system. Advertisers can request as reviews and/or appeals,” Ginny Marvin added.

The complaints. There does however seem to be an increase in the number of complaints from advertisers. Lior Krolewicz from Yael Consulting posted that they saw widespread ad disapprovals across numerous client accounts. “43 different accounts in our MCC, none of which deal with government documents or services, were seeing ads disapproved for the same reason. Accounts ranging from HVAC companies in California, eCommerce beauty product, to orthopedic insoles, had ads disapproved for this reason. 9 different accounts even had ads in their brand campaign stop serving due to this disapproval,” Lior wrote.

John Doherty from Credo complained on Twitter saying “I’ve had 2 brand new ads accounts for @ninja_editor, that haven’t had the opportunity to spend anything, be suspended for suspicious payments”.

PPCGreg posted on Twitter saying “our accounts were hit, en masse. Support confirmed the error in 1 accouint but said the fix would take 2 days. any chance we can speed that up?”

Hi Ginny – our accounts were hit, en masse. Support confirmed the error in 1 acct but said the fix would take 2 days. any chance we can speed that up? pic.twitter.com/1ycGnBz2CQ

— Greg (@PPCGreg) February 15, 2022

the only thing I can see on the ad (along with the other ads that were popped for the same violation) is the use of the word "Official" in the headline with the brand's name. @adsliaison 🕵️any insight? Recent updates to the policy that might have tripped up on these?

— Greg (@PPCGreg) February 14, 2022

There is also a large thread of complaints about this on Reddit and numerous ones in the Google Ads help forums, which I covered here.

Why we care. So there does seem, at least anecdotally, that there is an increase in ad disapprovals and suspensions but Google is saying there is nothing to see here.

If you were impacted by ad disapprovals in the past 24-hours, you should know you are not alone. But Google is telling advertisers to deal with these disapprovals or suspensions via this help page.

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