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Google allows YouTube users to limit access to ads for alcohol and gambling

The company said that it will provide YouTube users with more controls to limit ads on sensitive topics such as alcohol and gambling.

Sushant Talwar | December 11, 2020 | Updated 13:14 IST


  • Google is rolling out new controls to limit gambling and alcohol ads.
  • The new controls will be available starting early next year.
  • The controls will greatly limit such ads to users.

Google has announced that YouTube users will be able to steer clear of gambling and alcohol advertisements in the future if they choose not to see them. This functionality, Google has revealed, will be rolled out by Google to users starting next year.

The feature will be rolled out to users in a phased manner, beginning with YouTube Ads in the United States, and then gradually Google aims to introduce this for Google Ads and YouTube globally in early 2021. Countries with legal restrictions against serving gambling and alcohol ads will not see any change in their policies.

In a blogpost, the company said that it will provide YouTube users with more controls to limit ads on sensitive topics such as alcohol and gambling. For this, it is adding a new feature in Ad Settings that will allow users to limit targeted advertising for such topics.

Explaining the new feature, it said: "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."

It further added that this new feature is an "extra step, putting the choice in the user's hands and enabling you to further control your ad experience. With a click of a button, you can choose to see fewer gambling and alcohol ads. It is also reversible; should you change your mind, you can click to see such ads again."

While it is already possible for users to adjust the content of personalised ads, however, since the ads are based on users' browsing history, and are linked to the content being viewed on YouTube or on websites that use Google Ads, it is still possible currently to get such ads in countries where the advertisement of gambling and alcohol is permissible by law.

While the feature does not promise to filter out 100% of gambling and alcohol adverts, Google claims it will weed out the vast majority of such ads seen on YouTube or on sites that use Google Ads. Google has also announced that for the initiative, it is also been working with the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) and its members, the leading beer, wine and spirits producers across the globe, to ensure that standards for responsible alcohol advertising and marketing are taken into consideration.

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