Google’s advertising controls today range from seeing why something was served to turning off personalization entirely. Moving forward, the company will let you limit ads that are sensitive in nature, with YouTube being the first to get this option.

The Google Ad Settings page will soon feature a new section at the very bottom that lets you “choose to see fewer ads from these categories on YouTube.” Two sensitive ad topics — “Alcohol” and “Gambling” — are listed. The decision to “See fewer” ads when logged in can be reversed at any time.

This “Ad categories on YouTube” preference comes in response to user preferences and might be helpful for those working to overcome addiction or other issues. Google calls it an “extra step” that gives end-users more choices. It worked with the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking on this initiative.

These controls live alongside our policies which determine when and where gambling and alcohol ads can be shown per local laws (e.g. age restrictions).

The ability to limit sensitive ads is first launching in the US for YouTube. Global availability, which will also apply to Google Ads, is expected in early 2021. 

We believe this new feature is an important step in user choice and control. We’ll continue to improve our controls; and as our products and people’s expectations of them evolve, so will the features we make available to personalize ad experiences.

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Abner Li

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