YouTube bans election and gambling ads at the top of its homepage

Alcohol and prescription drug advertisers are also locked out of the prominent masthead slot.


YouTube will no longer allow certain types of ads in the masthead, the ad unit that appears at the top of the homepage. Certain election and political ads, as well as those related to gambling, alcohol and prescription drugs, are now banned from appearing in that slot.

You won't see ads that refer to online gambling, offline gambling or social casino games running across the top of the homepage. Nor will ads that endorse a political candidate show up. Ads concerning political issues might still appear in the slot, but YouTube will review them on a case-by-case basis, according to Axios. The updated policy is in effect immediately.

The YouTube homepage is one of the most-visited webpages in the world and the masthead is prime real estate for advertisers. YouTube has shifted away from allowing them to take over the masthead for an entire day, instead switching to a targeted model for those ads. Donald Trump's re-election campaign bought that ad slot on election day in November, before that change came into effect.

"We regularly review our advertising requirements to ensure they balance the needs of both advertisers and users," Google told Reuters. "We believe this update will build on changes we made last year to the masthead reservation process and will lead to a better experience for users."

Google paused all political ads after polls closed on election day. The company did so again for around a month following the attempted insurrection at Capitol Hill in January.