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Home > English > Search Publishers > Google > Troubleshooting Articles: Google > Google Creative Rejections and Exemption Requests

Google Creative Rejections and Exemption Requests

What is the issue?

You may encounter either of the following error messages when adding creatives to the Platform:
 

*Error: GOOGLE, pharma* Comment: Your creative references a pharmaceutical. Google has rejected your creative because of this reference.
 
 
*Error: GOOGLE, alcohol* Comment: Your creative references alcohol. Google has rejected your creative because of this reference.

You can refer to the Adwords Policy Center for more information on rejections and policies. This center describes which products/services fall under each policy (Trademark, Pharma, Editorial, Copyright, Restricted/Unacceptable Products etc). Jump to the Adwords Policy Center through the links below.
 

Additional errors

Your creative may also be rejected because there are too many characters in it. In this case, you'll see the following error:
 
Google Error: Error: GOOGLE, line_overflow, operations[xxx].operand.ad.headline,, en_US


Your creative will also be rejected if it contains words that are in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS:

Google Error: Error: GOOGLE, capitalization, operations[xxx].operand.ad.description2,, en_US

 

Note that the solution below does not apply to these two error messages. To resolve these, you simply need to address whatever the issue is. For example, shortening the creative's length or changing the case.

When do these errors appear?

When Google’s editorial team finds a possible policy violation with your ad text they will reject your creative. This rejection generates an error file that can be found in the Activity Log and contains results similar to the examples above. If you believe your creatives are not in violation of AdWords policy, you can seek an exemption or fix the error in question and re-upload.

You can ask for an exemption through your Google representative or you can submit an exemption request through our Platform.

This can appear if:
 

  1. Adding new creatives

    You are trying to create new creatives in the Platform and posting them to Google using this correct policy exemption process. The reason this can occur is because this policy exemption request process does not work for newly added creatives in the Platform. You must first load and approve these ads on Google's end, and then sync them down to the Platform. If you try to create new creatives in the Platform and post to Google, you will encounter this Google error message.
     
  2. Editing existing creatives

    You are trying to edit existing creatives that have already been approved on Google's end. Once the ads have been loaded and approved on Google's end, any edits made to these same creatives in the Platform must go through the policy exemption process in the upload file. If you edit these creatives without going through this policy exemption process, you will encounter this Google error message.

How to apply for creative exemption through our Platform

Option 1: Steps for single creative policy exemption request  

  1. Navigate to the Creatives tab.
  2. Click the Google logo under the Filters tab in the left hand side navigation bar.
  3. Click Creative Status in the left hand side navigation bar and select Disapproved. If Google does not return a Disapproved status, then filtering for Sync Error will instead reveal the creatives.
  4. Click on the creative that gave you an error for possibly violating Google’s Advertising Policy. If you are unsure whether the displayed creative was disapproved for policy violation, click the red triangle next to the disapproved creative. Clicking the red triangle will take you to an Activity Log page that describes the reason for disapproval.
  5. Returning to the Creatives tab. As you scroll down the Edit Creative screen, two free-form text fields, Policy Name and Violating Text are available for submitting the policy name and potential violating text. Enter the policy you have violated (available through the Google Adwords Policy Center) and the text that violated the policy.
  6. Click Save. After saving, a notification is shown in the Creatives tab just above the reporting grid.
  7. Click the link in the notification to see the new activity cart operation created for editing the creative.
  8. Push the change to Google by selecting the checkbox next to the ID and clicking Post Now.

Option 2: Steps of using multi-edit for multiple policy exemption request (filtering for disapproved or sync error creatives under the Creatives tab)  

  1. Navigate to the Creatives tab.
  2. Click the Google logo under the Filters tab in the left hand side navigation bar.
  3. Click Creative Status in the left hand side navigation bar and select Disapproved. If Google does not return a Disapproved status, then filtering for Sync Error will instead reveal the creatives. If you are unsure whether any of the displayed creatives were disapproved for policy violation, click the red triangle next to one of the disapproved creatives. Clicking the red triangle will take you to an Activity Log page that describes the reason for disapproval.
  4. Returning to the Creatives tab. Select the Creatives you wish to correct, then click Edit ( represented as a pencil icon) in the top bar above the main grid.
  5. Select Creative Exemptions from the dropdown in the multi-edit bubble
  6. Enter the Policy Name and Violating Text of your creatives. Enter the policy you have violated (available through the Google Adwords Policy Center) and the text that violated the policy in the same case as the text in the ads.
  7. Click Save. After saving, a notification is shown in the Creatives tab just above the reporting grid.
  8. Click the link in the notification to see the new activity cart operation created for editing the creative.
  9. Push the change to Google by selecting the checkbox next to the ID and clicking Post Now.

Option 3: Steps of correcting an existing bulksheet for multiple policy exemption request

If you've uploaded a bulksheet or a bulksheet was created within the Activity Log, you can use it for the following steps:
 

  1. Apply a filter to the Result column in the bulk sheet.
  2. Looking at the error, filter for the term of the bolded part below (In this example case, you will filter for description1. If the bolded text says headline, filter for headline).

    Example: Google:Error:Error:GOOGLE,pharma,operations[1].operand.ad.description1,, en_US
     
  3. In the Policy Name in the bulksheet, copy and paste the term of the bolded part below (In this example case, the bolded part is pharma).

    Example: Google:Error:Error:GOOGLE,pharma,operations[1].operand.ad.description1,, en_US
     
  4. Look at the Description Line 1 rows to find the violating text.
     
    • For example, with the pharma policy, it may be “Medicine” and you may see that “Medicine” is in several of the rows but “Medical” is in the others.
    • Apply a filter for “Medicine” and copy and paste it from the description column into the Violating Text column for each row where the Description Line 1 has “Medicine”.
    • In the case where the other rows have “Medical”, apply a filter for “Medical” and copy and paste it from the description column into the Violating Text column for each row where the Description Line 1 has “Medical”.
       
  5. Go back and do this for every error for all rows that have a policy name and violating text..
     
  6. Remove the Result column and upload the creatives.

Something to remember when filing exemptions

If the ad or keyword is flagged for Trademark policy, the policy name entered should just be 'trademark' and the violating text should not contain the entire line or phrase but only the word that's being rejected. The API will not accept any other variations such as trademark term, trademark policy, trademark text etc.

Here are some examples to illustrate the above point:

 

Policy Codes (enter in Policy Name field)

Violating Text examples

trademark

Inspiron, Dell, Apple, Nike

pharma

medical, medicine, meds

prescription_drug_terms

pill, capsule, tab, tablet

weapons

mus, gun, pistol

drugs_paraphernalia

crystal, meth, speed, manna

inappropriate_phrase

click (in the context of mouse clicks), swear words

Notes

  • The Results error message seen in the error file will identify what the Policy Name and Violating Text is for that creative/keyword. For example, if the following error message is seen for a creative: Google Error: Error: GOOGLE,pharma, operations[315].operand.ad.description1,, en_US, this means that the Policy Name is pharma, and the Violating Text is a term within Description Line 1 for that creative.

Best practices

  • You can create these creatives in the publisher and perform a manual sync into the Platform 
    If you create any creatives in the publisher including the trademark symbols such as ® or ™ then you sync them into the Platform, the trademark symbol will not change to the symbol that resembles a triangle with a question mark.
  • You can perform a bulk upload for the ads directly in the Platform
    When uploading in the Platform, please be sure to upload the creatives in Unicode text format. Unicode text format supports such special UTF-8 characters as ® or ™. CSV format does not support special characters such as the trademark, copyright, or restricted symbols.

Important notes

  • Please bear in mind that if you edit any of your Google creatives, they will be considered new creatives. As such, this creative will need to go through editorial review again and may therefore require a new exemption request.
  • If you use URL Autocorrect, you may find that having applied for exemptions successfully and syncing your creatives back into the Platform, the URLs are once again rejected by Google after Autocorrect runs. The solution to this problem is to take the URLs directly from the error file (in the Activity Log) once the rejection occurs, then request exemption for these within AdWords.
  • If creative exemptions are approved directly via AdWords or the AdWords Editor, please be sure to perform a manual sync within the Platform so those changes are reflected within the Platform; otherwise those creatives will still show a Sync Error within the Platform.
  • When you fill in the Violating Text portion of the exemption request, it is possible that you will need to try other phrases within the description or headline if the first try does not work.
  • You may encounter errors when trying to upload Disapproved keywords as well. 
    *Error: GOOGLE, alcohol* Comment: Cannot modify status: Disapproved.

If you see this error, you may try using the bulk upload function. Leave the [Status] and [Search Bid] fields empty by pressing Tab to go to the next field, and then upload the file accordingly.

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