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What kind of content is prohibited from appearing in ASA Apple Search Ads?

In the early morning of June 23, 2021, the ASOWorld technical team noticed that when Apple launched the “Mainland China” regional option in the search advertising ASA backstage, it also updated the “Apple Advertising Policy.” The updated content includes clearly prohibited content and restricted content in advertisements. The ASOWorld team has organized these contents to help everyone avoid behaviors that Apple does not allow when promoting products and improve delivery efficiency.

Table of Contents

What kind of content is prohibited from appearing in ASA Apple Search Ads?

Prohibited content in ads

Apple clearly stipulates in the updated “Apple Advertising Policy” that the following content in the delivery material of the App will not be able to be delivered:

Discriminatory content: Advertising content that promotes hatred, violence, harassment, or racism against individuals or groups based on race, gender, creed, country of origin, disability status, religious affiliation, age, language, sexual orientation, gender identity, or financial status.

Defamatory content: slanderous, libelous or defamatory advertising content.

Vulgar content: Vulgar or obscure advertising content, including dirty words or phrases.

Adult content: Advertising content that promotes adult themes or pornographic content, such as pornography, Kama Sutra, erotic content, or content that promotes “sex skills” or other sex games.

Controlled Substances: Advertising content that directly or indirectly promotes or promotes the sale, distribution or use of any tobacco products, illegal drugs, drugs, weapons, ammunition, explosives or fireworks, excessive drinking or underage drinking.

Controversial content: advertising content that is considered offensive, pornographic, or contains personal attacks, bullying or threatening individuals or individual businesses or companies.

Falsified documents: advertising content that falsifies propaganda documents, academic qualifications, certificates and other materials.

Improper business practices: Incentives to download or manipulate, filter, or fake reviews, feedback, taps, or download advertisements in an improper way.

Fraudulent content: Advertising content should be honest and transparent, and must accurately reflect the products or services you provide. False, fraudulent, dishonest or deceptive statements or content (including misleading titles, statements or icons) are not allowed, including the following:

“Get rich quick” scams, “free profits” or similar earning opportunities or products and services
Free products or services and lucky draws, such as “You have been selected to win for free…”

“Free products” that require payment of any type of payment, management fees, transportation fees or other fees, so they are not truly free products

Deceptive pricing and price statements: The listed products or services must be clear and transparent to users, and must not misrepresent the true nature of the products or services (prices and any rate statements must be accurate under all circumstances).

Illegal advertising content: advertising content that does not comply with applicable laws and regulations, including the laws and regulations of each country or region where the advertising content is disseminated.

Unlicensed advertising content: Advertising content that lacks necessary licenses, permits, or other authorizations required by laws, including the laws and regulations of each country or region where the advertising content is disseminated.

Questionable legality: The legality of the product or service promoted by the advertising content is doubtful, for example, passwords obtained by improper means, pyramid schemes, products used to circumvent speed testing laws, or the target country or region is on the US trade embargo list or sanctions List.

The following content is not allowed to be advertised in Mainland China:

Gaming: advertising content that promotes gaming products or services.

Virtual gambling: The advertising content promotes virtual slot machines and other simulated casino gambling.

VPN: The product or service promoted by the ad content is designed to obscure the IP address or user location.

Pharmaceuticals and medical devices: The advertising content promotes pharmaceutical products and medical devices.

Debt collection: The advertising content promotes debt collection services.

Funeral or funeral services: The advertising content promotes funeral or funeral services.

Pesticides: The advertising content promotes the sale of pesticides.

International Marriage Agency: The advertising content promotes the services of international marriage agencies.

Government documents: The advertising content promotes the sale or use of unauthorized government certificates or other documents (such as ID cards, files, permits, invoices, etc.).

Language: Advertising content not mainly displayed in simplified Chinese.

Restricted content

Apple also pointed out that App may be subject to corresponding restrictions when advertising in different countries and regions. The restricted type may be the need to select the appropriate age audience, or provide the necessary licenses or permits in the country or region. In addition, developers are also responsible for actively and appropriately restricting advertising content. E.g:

Alcohol: Some countries and regions may prohibit or restrict advertisements that promote the sale or consumption of alcohol, or advertisements that mention the consumption of alcoholic beverages. All text, images, videos, and audio used for promotional or advertising purposes must describe the appropriate age group and context.

Dating: In some countries and regions, advertising for dating and related services may be prohibited or restricted.

Gaming: In some countries and regions, advertisements for gaming-related services may be prohibited or restricted.

Medicines and medical treatment: In some countries and regions, content advertising that promotes pharmaceutical products, medical equipment, medical services, or medical methods may be prohibited or restricted.

The above content is for the restrictions on ASA advertising in all regions. When advertising in mainland China, you need to pay extra attention to the following points:

  • App may need to provide some qualification certificates when placing advertisements on ASA, such as business licenses, permits, other forms of government approval, or other materials or information in order to place advertisements in mainland China.
  • Advertising in certain industries or categories may be limited to commercial company entities, and individual units cannot carry out advertising.
  • Certain industries or categories of advertising have age restrictions.


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