Paid Search Advertising in Restricted Categories

by | Aug 31, 2021 | Blog, Paid Search

Running paid search advertising in restricted categories like Financial Services or Prescription Medication is challenging.

It can also be rewarding if successful. The difficulty acts as a barrier to entry.

Your best option is to utilize an agency with experience navigating these hurdles. Our agency eAccountable has a storied history of launching brands through paid search advertising in many restricted verticals.

Here are a five examples of success we’ve had in this field:

Advertising in Restricted Category #1: Prescription Medication

An online pet pharmaceutical provider needed to expand their digital advertising. So, eAccountable worked through the process of registering this brand as an approved pharmaceutical seller on Google. As a result, this became their top revenue channel.

Advertising in Restricted Category #2 : Gun Gear and Accessories

A leading gun manufacturer launched a lifestyle clothing company selling both gear and accessories. Unfortunately, their brand name was specifically blocked from running ads on all Google searches.

Ultimately, instead of text-ad campaigns, we found success in Google Shopping ads.

Advertising in Restricted Category #3: CBD

The top CBD company in America was not allowed to run paid ads. This is because cannabis is still federally listed as a controlled substance.

However, eAccountable assisted in them joining a pilot program with Google, allowing them to bid on their brand name. We brought their traffic to a sister site that did not specifically mention CBD. Additionally, we found workarounds by running some traffic through Bing Ads as well.

Advertising in Restricted Category #4: Adult Toys

An adult toy retailer could not run top of funnel campaigns like display. They couldn’t even show Shopping Ads on the first page due to sexual content restrictions.

To solve this, we worked to focus on manufacturer text-ad based campaigns. We produced keyword rich content to help improve organic rankings.

Advertising in Restricted Category #5: Housing and Credit

A leading FinTech provider of home investments recently fell under Google’s new personalized advertising policies. These include restrictions on ads for Housing and Credit offers. These policies prevented the targeting of users disproportionately affected by societal biases like housing, employment, and credit.

Despite this, eAccountable ensured all compliance measures were enacted, including updated geo-targeting. Consequently, this made sure the account could serve fully in all auctions.

Where Should I Start?

Were you paying attention?

Yes, we help sell sex, drugs, and gun accessories. Whatever your product is, we can help you!

You might be asking, where should I start?

First, search Legit Script for disapproved substances. They are a great resource for many categories, including supplements. Google references this list when reviewing keywords, ads and product data in Google Merchant Center.

Second, your manufacturer can work to become listed and certified on Legit Script. This includes if you’re a CBD brand. Your manufacturer can also work to have your products FDA registered. Even better, they can include ingredients that are already FDA approved.

These simple steps will greatly improve your ability to utilize paid search advertising in restricted categories.

A Rapidly Changing Field

In September 2021, Google will introduce a new strike-based system. They will enforce strikes against advertisers who repeatedly violate Google Ads policies.

These new policies include:

  • Enabling dishonest behavior
  • Unapproved substances
  • Guns, Gun parts and related products
  • Explosives
  • Other Weapons
  • Tobacco

Additionally, they’ll be expanded to include other policies later in the year.

Moving forward, if you continue to receive policy violations your account will be suspended.

The stakes for compliance are higher than ever. At eAccountable, we are proactive within the quickly changing rules and regulations surrounding paid search.

How We Can Help You

Don’t know what ad types will work best for your goals? What keyword match types have changed? How to use smart bidding to dominate paid search?

Don’t worry – we do!

Trust our team of experts to understand the best ways to spend your limited ad budget. We drive new customers to you. We are 100% transparent in our strategy recommendations and process.

Let us help you sell through Google and Microsoft Advertising. Reach out today! We’ll provide a free consultation for your unique situation.