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YouTube is removing Gambling, Alcohol, and Politics from its Masthead Ads Slot

YouTube is restricting ads related to alcohol, politics, gambling, or “prescription drug terms”. The types of ads mentioned above will no longer appear in YouTube’s masthead ads slot. Masthead is at the top of YouTube’s website and App.

According to the Verge – quoting Google-, restricting what kind of ads appears in the masthead will help “lead to a better experience for users”.

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Ads in the masthead is among the first things you usually see when you visit YouTube. So, YouTube is trying to make the platform more inclusive by removing ads such as alcohol, or gambling from that slot.

Removing politics from the masthead could help YouTube avoid controversies. Most politicians can purchase ads in the masthead and create controversies. A typical example is when Donald Trump purchased the slot for three days during the 2020 elections.

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And that was not the first time a politician is using it and it won’t be the last. So, YouTube is deciding to avoid political controversies.

YouTube new policy
YouTube New Masthead policy

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An update on YouTube’s ad support page states that, ads in the masthead slot can “drive massive reach or awareness,” but now that public slot will no longer be available to people wanting to advertise in certain types of ads.

Google already made it possible for users to see limited number of gambling and alcohol related ads on YouTube. According to Google, last year the mastheads slot will no longer show reserved ads for an entire day but instead it will show targeted ads for users.

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Over the years Google has tried to balance its policies to determine what it does and doesn’t show in ads — recently, it’s removed ads that used hate speech as keywords, political misinformation, and Covid-19 conspiracy theories.

As its worked to clean up what ads it puts in front of users, Google’s ads business has also increasingly come under scrutiny from lawmakers who believe it’s ripe for antitrust enforcement.






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