YouTube Tightens Its Advertising Prohibitions for the Masthead Space

By Bill Toulas / June 15, 2021

YouTube will no longer accept ads relating to alcohol, prescription drugs, gambling/betting, and political promotions on the masthead, which is the most visible and high-engagement rate space on the platform. The change in the policy has already been added to YouTube’s advertising policies page, so it has entered into effect. This is a very important shift that affects a powerful network of advertisers who are willing to pay good money to Google for a prominent position on the YouTube website.

These are the four newly prohibited categories that are no longer eligible for YouTube’s masthead:

So, what is it then that forced Google to take this decision, shutting the door to some of its best clients? Simply put, the company can no longer pretend any message is acceptable, especially when there are risks of misinformation, manipulation, and even confusion for the wider audience. The decision to cut masthead reservations was taken all the way back in November 2020, and introducing several limitations and prohibitions now is only the next natural step to take.

Then there’s the user experience which can only take so much before it feels severely disrupted. Accepting to promote controversial messages that come in contrast to the beliefs of a significant portion of your userbase isn’t the best approach, and YouTube would rather push all that deeper into the page. Of course, the yield of $2 million a day will go "poof" this way. Still, the company will continue to generate mind-boggling revenue from delivering one billion hours of video watching every single day.

For a better user experience we recommend using a more modern browser. We support the latest version of the following browsers: For a better user experience we recommend using the latest version of the following browsers: