Google DoubleClick Ad Exchange (AdX) Buyer Program Guidelines

Last updated on April 30, 2015.

This product is governed by the terms set forth in your Google DoubleClick AdX Service contract.

The Google DoubleClick AdX Service is a service for accessing multiple sources of online display advertising inventory. In the AdX Service, publishers and publisher networks are considered "Sellers," ad networks and other eligible entities as described below are considered "Buyers," and unique instances of a Web browser or mobile application are considered "Users."

Buyers participating in any transaction on AdX, including but not limited to Programmatic Direct, Preferred Deals, Private Auction, or Open Auction must adhere, and ensure that any third party to whom they provide access to the AdX service under their account also adheres, to the following policies: (i) the Platforms program policies, and (ii) the AdX Buyer Program-specific policies stated below on this page. Please note that any restatements of the Platforms program policies in these AdX Buyer Program Guidelines are for clarification purposes only and do not limit the application of the Platforms program policies to Buyers.

Eligible Buyers on the Ad Exchange

All purchase transactions on the Ad Exchange must be made on behalf of multiple advertisers with the Buyer assuming principal risk in the transaction. Buyers are not permitted to use Ad Exchange (i) for the purpose of buying solely on behalf of a single advertiser, or (ii) if they use an AdWords account for any purpose other than (a) search advertising or (b) if on display, to advertise their own products and services.

No Sub-syndication Policy

Buyers may only purchase inventory for use directly by an advertiser (or direct agent of an advertiser) with which they have a direct relationship. Reselling, distributing or otherwise sub-syndicating inventory to another indirect sales channel (e.g., another ad network or trading desk) is prohibited. Note that redirection to rich-media vendors and third party ad servers used by advertiser (or direct agent of an advertiser) is permitted under this policy.

Real-time Bidder Policy

The Real-time Bidder is a feature of the Ad Exchange that allows Buyers to receive impression calls in near real time and provides a bid in response based on the Buyer's own data and information. Google may in its sole discretion modify the scope, duration, frequency and access to such information at any time without liability to Buyer.

Google reserves the right to audit Buyer's use of the Real-time Bidder feature and investigate any related activity in order to ensure Buyer's compliance with these policies and the Ad Exchange Buyer Terms. The audits shall be at Google's expense and will be conducted no more than once during each 12 month period, during normal business hours and without unreasonably interfering with Buyer's normal business operations. If Buyer does not permit an audit, then Buyer may not continue to use the Real-time Bidder feature.

Data Restrictions

Disclosure of Bid Data. Sellers may restrict their advertising inventory to Buyers who consent to the disclosure of their historical bid data to such Sellers. Buyers that opt out of such disclosure (i) will be excluded, for the duration of the opt-out, from any reports of bid data to such Sellers, and (ii) authorize Google to disclose their identity to such Sellers.

Restrictions on Buyer Use of Data. Buyers may use data received from the AdX service solely for the purpose of buying on the Ad Exchange and where permitted, store such data in a secure (i.e., encrypted) manner. The anonymity of the cookie or mobile advertising identifier must be respected and Buyers are prohibited from otherwise identifying the user.

RTB Callout Data Restriction. Buyer may store the encrypted cookie ID and mobile advertising identifier for the purpose of evaluating impressions and bids based on user-data previously obtained by the Buyer. All other callout data except for Location Data may be retained by Buyer after responding to an ad call for the sole purpose of forecasting the availability of inventory on the Ad Exchange. Buyer is permitted to retain callout data only for the length of time necessary to fulfill the relevant purposes stated above.

Unless Buyer wins a given impression, it must not: (i) use callout data for that impression to create user lists or profile users; (ii) associate callout data for that impression with third party data; or (iii) share rate card data in any form, including but not limited to aggregate form, with third parties.

Location Data Restriction. If Buyer receives information through the Ad Exchange that identifies or can be used to infer an end user’s precise geographic location, such as GPS, wifi or cell tower data ("Location Data"), then Buyer is permitted to use such information solely for the purpose of bidding on the applicable impression and Buyer is permitted to retain such information solely for the length of time necessary to fulfill that purpose.

Cookie Matching

Buyer may associate identifiers received from the cookie match service (“Match Data”) with data they already own, provided upon any User opt out of a cookie or mobile advertising identifier, Buyer immediately dissociates any related data linked to the Match Data.

Buyer must implement cookie matching pursuant to the DoubleClick Ad Exchange Real-Time Bidding Cookie Matching Specifications.

Restrictions on Match Data. Buyer is not permitted to use Match Data for (i) data harvesting, including but not limited to augmenting data lists, including but not limited to enabling cross-session correlation across identifier resets, or (ii) circumventing user identifier resets.

Requirements for Passing Ad Tags and Redirects. Buyer is only permitted to redirect an ad match tag to fourth parties when the ad match is initiated by the Buyer. Any such redirected ad match can only be used to associate two anonymous cookies for the subsequent purpose of enabling ad targeting and reporting for a given impression.

Interest-Based Advertising

In addition to the Interest-based advertising policies in the Platforms program policies, Buyers must also comply with the following policies:

Privacy Policy. Buyer's posted privacy policy must include information about Google, any DoubleClick advertising cookies or mobile advertising identifiers associated with a User ("User Cookie"), and an appropriate description of Buyer's use of any remarketing in online advertising. The remarketing description must be included in the privacy policies of all sites that include the remarketing tag or otherwise gather information for remarketing.

In Ads Notice. To clarify, Buyer is responsible for ensuring that all of its online behavioral ads (i.e., advertisements that use or collect data for online behavioral advertising purposes including without limitation when Buyer targets advertising inventory using a remarketing list of User Cookies ("User List") provided by a Seller or otherwise obtained by the Buyer) contain notices in accordance with advertising industry guidelines and self-regulatory principles, and/or any applicable laws, rules or regulations. Google reserves the right to insert such notices within ads in the event that a Buyer has failed to do so, and a Buyer may not modify or obscure this notice.

User List Creation. Buyer may use pixel tracking within its ads for the purpose of creating a remarketing list. When using such functionality, Buyer must declare, "Ad collects data for subsequent use in targeting or re-marketing" in the user interface or the ad call. Buyer may not create a User List of Users of a single site, whether through pixel tracking or any other means, without the applicable Seller's written consent.

Data Collection. If Buyer collects any site data, including but not limited to URLs, through the creative before the user has interacted with the creative, Buyer must declare in the user interface, "Ad collects data for subsequent use in targeting or re-marketing."

Advertising Cookies Policy. Buyer's use of the User Cookie via a User List is also subject to the Google Advertising Cookies Policy.

User List Transparency. Buyer grants to Google the right, should Google elect to do so, to display to any User that is part of Buyer's User Lists (i) that the User is on at least one of Buyer's User Lists, and (ii) Buyer's domain or display name.

Conflicts. To the extent there is any conflict between these Interest-Based Advertising Policies and the Third-Party Ad Serving Policy, then Buyer needs to comply with the version of the conflicting provision in these Interest-Based Advertising Policies.

Tag-based Buy Adjustments (beta)

For tag-based buying, Buyers will provide relevant campaign information and details (including maximum spend) in writing to Ad Exchange. Buyer grants Google permission to make the following modifications to any such campaign-specific details upon Buyer's request (the following, "Approved Adjustments"): (i) change the quantity of Impressions purchased (which may impact total media cost); (ii) change the frequency of ad placements; (iii) change targeting criteria for existing ad campaigns; (iv) rate changes; (v) pause / unpause or change the start or end dates for existing ad campaigns, groups or placements; and (vi) duplicate ad groups (including ads, placements, targets and audiences).

Data Use

Google uses a cookie or mobile advertising identifier to serve ads to sites participating in the Ad Exchange as described on the Google Advertising Privacy FAQ. Google may use and disclose any data derived from a Buyer's use of Ad Exchange, subject to the terms of Google's privacy policy, the Google DoubleClick AdX Buyer Terms and any applicable laws.

Open Auction Policies

In addition to the above policies, Buyers participating in the Open Auction must also comply with all the below policies.

Publisher Anonymity in the Open Auction. Buyers must respect the anonymity of Sellers that have made inventory available only by anonymous ID, or by their root domain or an alternate URL. Buyers may only pass such inventory to a 3rd party verification service provider if (a) the 3rd party verification service provider is able to recognize an opt-out value, and (b) the Buyer associates an opt-out value with such inventory.

Content Restrictions for the Open Auction. Buyers are not permitted to serve on the Ad Exchange creatives that themselves or through their landing pages: (i) promote hacking, dishonest behavior, dangerous products and/or services or that otherwise contain offensive content, even if not prohibited by law; (ii) contain adult, alcohol, gambling, healthcare, or political content except where expressly permitted by Google; (iii) advertise any system that (whether by itself or as a bundle in conjunction with other systems) causes ad space to be overlayed on a given site without express permission of the site owner, including, but not limited to, toolbars.

Click-Through URLs in the Open Auction. Buyers must correctly declare their landing page URLs and track them using the appropriate Google click macro. Where a Buyer associates a dynamic ad with multiple customized landing pages, it is sufficient for the Buyer to declare the URL(s) of the root site(s).