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Should marketers worry about YouTube letting users limit ads?

Should marketers worry about YouTube letting users limit ads?

Google is increasing the range of advertising categories users can select to see fewer of on YouTube, in a development of user controls introduced in December 2020.

Since then, users have been able to go into their Google Ad Settings and opt to limit the number of adverts for alcohol and gambling they see before and during YouTube videos. Google is now expanding these options to include three more categories – dating, weight loss and pregnancy/parenting.

These have been added to Google’s list of “sensitive ad categories” following feedback from YouTube users who said they would like increased control over the types of ads they see. It seems Google is unlikely to stop at its current total of five categories, with Google’s Group Product Manager for Ads Privacy, Karin Hennessy, saying:

“We’ll continue to listen to user feedback and study which categories to expand this feature to in the future.”

What does this mean for marketers?

The immediate reaction for people running YouTube ads might be to panic. After all, if YouTube is letting people restrict certain categories of ads, that immediately reduces your audience, doesn’t it? Also, if you produce YouTube videos of your own and hope to get advertisers fund them, wouldn’t this put them off?
Search Engine Land says it only expects a “minimal” business impact for marketers, noting that it may even help advertisers to reach a more relevant audience. Anyone who wants to filter their ads to exclude certain categories is unlikely to be interested in products or services within that category anyway, so in effect, all this does is filter out users there is little value in targeting.

It’s also worth noting that users cannot opt out of these categories of ads completely, but will simply see fewer of them. That ultimately means they will see more ads in categories not classed as sensitive.

For help with creating videos and online ads, speak to us at Engage Web today.

Content Team Leader at Engage Web
John works for Engage Web as a Content Team Leader and regularly contributes to the website and programmes of his beloved Chester F.C.
John Murray

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