Google Expands Ad-Serving Protections for Teens

By Lisa Hirst Carnes | July 2022

Teens sitting together on their mobile devices.

Google is expanding its ad-serving protections to protect teens from inappropriate content. The move comes as the company faces criticism for how it serves ads to children.

Google has long had policies prohibiting advertisers from targeting children with ads for alcohol, tobacco, and gambling. But, in recent years, the company has come under fire for allowing ads for products such as payday loans and weight-loss supplements.
Now, Google is taking steps to ensure that teens are not served these ads. The company is extending its ad-serving protections to cover teens between 13 and 18. This means that Google won't serve ads that aren't appropriate for this age group.
Here are six ways that Google is expanding ad-serving protections for teenagers:

1. Disable Ads Personalization

The company announced that it would disable ad personalization for users who are under the age of 18. This change will apply to new and existing users.
According to Google, this move will protect teens from targeted ads based on their personal information. Teens can still see ads on its platforms, but it won't use personal information to target them. This change will take effect in the coming months.

2. Disallow Sensitive, Creative Categories From Serving

To protect children from sensitive content, Google is expanding its ad-serving protections. It will now disallow ads in sensitive categories from serving on children's YouTube videos.
This comes in response to advertisers, who noted that their ads appeared on videos that weren't appropriate for all audiences. While Google has policies to prevent ads from appearing on explicit content, the new protections will extend to violence, alcohol, and gambling. This move will also please parents who have concerns about their children's exposure to online content.

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 Categories Under Restriction for Google Ad-Serving Protections

  • Sexually-suggestive material
  • Alcohol, cigarettes, and recreational drugs
  • Weight loss and body modification
  • Sweepstakes  and contests
  • Relationships and dating
  • Misleading content
  • Casino and gambling
  • Supplements and pharmaceutical substances
  • Worrying content
  • Financial products that are based on speculation rather than reality
  • Arrest records and spying
  • Adults-only virtual worlds and chat rooms

3. Working With Parents and Guardians to Get Feedback

As digital consumption among teenagers continues to rise, so does exposure to advertising. While some ads can be helpful or entertaining, others can be intrusive or harmful. To protect young users, Google is expanding its ad-serving protections for teens.
The new safeguards will include age verification requirements and transparency on the ads shown to users. Google is also working with parents to get feedback on how best to install these protections. By taking these steps, Google hopes to create a safer online experience for everyone.

4. Cooperating With Law Enforcement to Crack Down on Unsafe or Illegal Online Content

In recent years, there has been a growing concern about the safety of teens online. With the advent of social media and the availability of information, it's easy for teens to come across inappropriate content.
In response, Google announced that it is expanding its ad-serving protection for teens. It will now cooperate with law enforcement to crack down on unsafe or illegal online content.
This is a welcome step forward in protecting the online safety of teens. By working with law enforcement, Google will be able to identify and remove ads that are harmful to teens. These policies will help create a safer online environment for everyone.

5. Conducting Extensive Research on Teenage Ad-Serving Behaviors

Google is always looking to better serve its users, which includes making sure that ads are respectful of users' privacy. To this end, it has announced that it is expanding its ad-serving protections for teens. This move comes after extensive research that showed that teens are uncomfortable with having their data used for targeted advertising.
As a result, Google will now only serve ads to teens that have requested them. This will ensure that they only see relevant ads and aren't bombarded with intrusive ads. Also, Google will give parents more control over the ads their children see. This will help further protect teen users' privacy and preferences.

6. Applying the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act(COPPA)

To better protect children's online privacy, Google is expanding its ad-serving capabilities. Through the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, Google can only collect and use limited data. This will allow Google to serve relevant ads to children while protecting their information.
This change will also allow Google to follow data collection and regulations better. By expanding its capabilities, Google is taking a step forward in protecting children's privacy.

Bottom Line

Google announced expanded protections for teenagers against harmful content through its ad network. The new safeguards, which will roll out over the coming months, include improved age-screening and better transparency.
The move comes as Google faces increasing scrutiny over its ad network. In recent months, many brands pulled their ads from Google after they were shown alongside offensive content.
These protections ensure that users under 18 only see age-appropriate ads. Google will also provide greater transparency on the ads served to minors. This will allow parents and guardians to see what's exposed to their children.

Topics: Digital Marketing