Google to let YouTube users strikeout of gambling and alcohol ads in settings

YouTube users will be able to remove most of the gambling and alcohol adverts if they don’t want to see them. It is adding a new feature in Ad Settings that will allow users to limit targeted advertising for such topics.

From this year in the US and early next year in the UK and the rest of the world, the company will make it easier to avoid these ads, also via Ad Settings.

Users in countries with legal restrictions against serving gambling and alcohol ads will not be impacted by the new controls.

“We’ve heard feedback that some people would prefer to limit ads in certain categories like alcohol, so today, we’re launching a new control in Ad Settings, enabling people to see fewer alcohol ads, with gambling as an additional option,” Google said in a blog post.

It is already possible to adjust the content of personalized ads, which are based on users’ browsing history, via Google’s Ad Settings function. But the majority of ads are “contextual”, meaning they are linked to the content being viewed on YouTube or on websites that use Google Ads to sell space to advertisers. This has led to adverts for online casinos, for instance, appearing on news articles about gambling addiction.

The feature will not guarantee to filter out 100% of gambling and alcohol adverts, but Google is understood to be confident it will exclude the vast majority seen on YouTube or on sites that use Google Ads.

The new controls are live alongside in addition to its existing policies “which determine when and where gambling and alcohol ads can be shown per local laws (e.g. age restrictions).” “We’ve long had features like Mute this ad, where people can indicate which ads they’d rather not see,” it added.

Users can choose to see fewer gambling and alcohol ads. The controls are reversible. They can also adjust the controls accordingly if they wish to see such ads again. The feature will be rolled out to users in Ad Settings gradually, beginning with YouTube Ads in the United States. Google is aiming to introduce this for Google Ads and YouTube globally in early 2021.

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