YouTube announces ban on election, gambling, alcohol ads from the masthead


YouTube, which is the world’s biggest video sharing and social media platform, said on Monday that it will ban advertisements of different kinds on one of its most prominent spots on the homepage- the masthead. They will ban advertisements associated with gambling, alcohol, and prescription drugs, as well as political and election ads.

According to the support page of YouTube, ads in the masthead are capable of driving massive reach or awareness but now this opportunity cannot be utilized by people wanting to advertise in such spaces. The ban will be effective to advertisements that promote the sale of alcohol, as well as branding ads for alcoholic drinks that do not explicitly reference sales. Ads that are sponsoring a candidate for office will also be facing a ban. On the other hand, political ads will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

YouTube now prohibits assets that exhibit and remark about gambling-related contents such as offline and online gambling, online non-casino games and social casino games from their masthead. The Google-owned social media platform has also banned ads that show or refer to prescription drugs.

This is the second important change by YouTube in less than a year. In November 2020, the video-sharing platform changed its rules on video monetization and started showing ads on all videos, even if the creators do not want them interrupting their videos. They also stated that they will roll out ads on a limited number of videos from channels not in the YouTube Partner Program back then. YouTube said it would stop full-day masthead reservations and replace them with more focused advertisements that are bought on a cost-per-impression basis, making it more difficult for any single advertiser to own YouTube’s homepage.

A Google spokesperson said in an emailed statement to Axios that they regularly review their advertising requirements to ensure they balance the needs of both advertisers as well as the users. He also added that they believe this update will build on developments they made last year to the masthead reservation process and will lead to a better experience for users.

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