Advertising

Skip to main content
Advertising

Considering Microsoft Advertising for your next campaign? Help us make our website better for you >

Microsoft Advertising policies

Text guidelines

14 February 2022

Ad language

  • The language used in the ad must be appropriate for the market in which the ad is displayed.
  • The ad language and/or search results must match the language of the page.
  • As a general rule, landing pages should be in the local language(s) of the market.
  • Foreign language words are allowed where they naturally fall into local language usage. For example, in English-speaking regions, the following foreign words are allowed: résumé, faux, burrito, café, fiancé, cliché, curriculum vitae, Zeitgeist.
  • The landing page must be clear and understandable to the average user in the target market.

Country Restrictions

Croatia
  • Essential information on products offered to consumers must be written in Croatian language and Latin script on the ad or landing page. This includes:  
    • Basic characteristics of the product needed for the consumer to make a purchase decision such as product name, type and model of product, name under which the product is sold, the composition of the product, the characteristics, and technical characteristics of the product. 
    • Name and registered office of the manufacturer or importer established in the European Union. 

Capitalization

  • Ads must use proper, grammatically correct capitalization.
  • Proper nouns should be capitalized where appropriate. For example, "Purchase cheddar cheese imported from England."
  • Capitalization must be consistent. For example, use title case, sentence case, or capitalize the first letter of every word.
  • Ads may not use excessive or random capitalization, such as BIG SALE or AmAzinG.
  • Titles should be title-cased in English-speaking markets. Titles should be sentence-cased in German-, French-, Spanish-, Italian-, and Dutch-speaking markets. Descriptions must be sentence case.
  • Legitimate acronyms and advertiser brand names that are registered in all capital letters are allowed.

Grammar, punctuation, and spelling

  • Grammar and spelling must be correct unless the incorrect grammar or spelling is part of the corporate or product branding.
  • One exclamation point or question mark is allowed per sentence in ad text.

SEARCH SEARCH

  • Make sure that dynamic text, such as that used for {keyword}, {param2} and {param3}, does not cause incorrect grammar in your ad title or ad text.
  • Spelling of dynamic text, such as that used for {keyword}, {param2}, and {param3}, must be correct.
    • If you bid on misspelled keywords, do not use them in ad groups that contain {keyword} dynamic text.

Symbols, special characters, and abbreviations

  • Use numbers, letters, and symbols in a way that reflects normal speech.
  • Only one price or % allowed per ad. This includes discounts and price reductions, such as 25% 50% off! or $99.99 $89.99 $79.99!
  • Consecutive, non-alphanumeric characters are not allowed. For example, "TV - Only $5.95/Mo!!!"
  • Use of italic, bold, superscript, subscript or other enhanced or resized fonts is not allowed.
  • Use of the trademark symbol ™ or copyright symbol ® in the ad title or ad text is not allowed unless the trademark is already registered or in the process of application. For more information, please see the Intellectual property policies.
  • Symbols not used as part of the language of the ad are not allowed in ad copy. For example, the following types of symbols and characters are not allowed in the ad title, ad text or keyword list:
    • Wingdings, dingbats, arrows, bullets, or other symbols used to draw attention to an ad.
    • Mathematical symbols such as <, >, =
    • Emoticons
    • Block elements such as ▉ or ▃
    • Accents or characters specific to languages other than those enabled for the market(s) the ad targets. For example, ~, ^, or ç would not be allowed in the US market.
    • Unnecessary symbols such as @, }{,][, ¤, § ‗
  • Abbreviated or shortened versions of words may be used if they reflect common usage and are in direct context of the advertised product or service. For example:
    • Month may be written as mo or mo. (with period).
    • Pic, pics, or pix may be used instead of pictures.
    • An ampersand (&) may be used in place of "and."
    • A number sign (#) may be used in place of "number" or "pounds."
    • A percent sign (%) may be used in place of "percent."
    • An X or x may be used in place of "times" or "by"—"5X faster" or "4x4 truck," for example.
    • A plus sign (+) may be used in place of "plus."
    • An asterisk (*) may be used to denote travel category stars—"4* hotel," for example.

Word count and character limits

SEARCH SEARCH

  • Minimum word count. A combined total of at least 3 words is required in your title and descriptive text.
  • Character limitations. If your ad title, ad text or destination URL exceeds certain character limitations, you will receive an error message. Character limits are calculated with dynamic text included in the calculation.  For additional information on character limits please visit our help page.

URL characters

Display URLs and final URLs may only be in Latin, ASCII characters and must not contain accents or diacritics. Display URLs and final URLs with non-Latin characters — such as Chinese or Russian characters, for example — and Latin characters with accents and diacritics — such as http://contosé.com, for example — will be rejected.

SEARCH SEARCH

URL types

  • Display URL: The web page address that appears in your ad text.
  • Final URL: The upgraded version of the URL address of the page on your website that people reach when they click your ad from a desktop or laptop.
  • Tracking URL: The address that enables you to track performance.
  • Landing page URL: The address of the final web page where users end up after clicking an ad.

Final and landing page URL.

The final URL must work properly and resolve to a single working website. It cannot connect to an email address or a file or result in a page with a 404 or other 4xx status code. The Microsoft Advertising crawler should not be blocked by your website Additionally, non-standard characters and IP addresses are disallowed.

Illustration of an ad display URL leading to destination URL. Illustration of an ad leading to a destination URL that works properly and resolves to a single working website. Illustration of an ad leading to an email address, file or page with a 404 or other 4xx status code.

Display URL

  • The final URL determines the display URL; however, relevant content subfolders can be added.
  • Display URLs in a single ad group must use the same top-level URL domain. For example, your ad group can feature display URLs with multiple folders – such as Microsoft.com/Office and Microsoft.com/Skype – but it may not feature multiple display URLs with different top-level domains – such as Microsoft.com and Contoso.com.

URL mismatch

  • The display URL must match the landing page URL.
  • If a tracking template is used to redirect the user, the landing page URL domain and content must match the final URL domain and content.
Illustration of ads and display URLs leading to different landing page URLs.

Acceptable URL mismatch

Limited to the following circumstances, non-matching display and landing page URLs are acceptable.

  • Tracking URLs used for legitimate tracking purposes with redirects. Final URLs with redirects not matching the display URLs are acceptable provided that the top-level domain of the display URL and the top-level domain of the landing page URL match.
    • Approved
      • Display URL: www.constoso.com/shoe
      • Final URL: contoso.com/search?p=shoes...
      • Landing Page URL: contoso.com/search?p=shoes...
  • Descriptive deep links. Subdomains or folders can be used in the display URL for descriptive purposes that do not match the subdomain or folders of the landing page URL provided that the top-level domain match, and that the subdomain or folder adequately describes the portion of your site users will land.
    • Approved
      • Display URL: www.constoso.com
      • Final URL: contosotracking.com/...
      • Landing Page URL: www.contoso.com
  • Hosting sites. You may be allowed to use a descriptive display URL that does not match the landing page URL for hosted domains. If you believe you have a legitimate use case fitting in this category, you may appeal the rejection.
    • Approved
      • Display URL: www.constoso.com
      • Final URL: contoso2.hosted-domain.com
      • Landing Page URL: contoso2.hosted-domain.com
  • Brand considerations. You may be allowed to use a display URL that does not match the landing page URL for brand consideration purposes. For example, a well-recognized product brand can be used as display URL to direct users to the generic sale portal of the product owner. If you believe you have a legitimate use case fitting in this category, you may appeal the rejection.
    • Approved
      • Display URL: office.microsoft.com
      • Final URL: products.microsoft.com/?office...
      • Landing Page URL: products.microsoft.com/?office...

Ad functionality

  • Individualized content is not allowed.
    • Ads cannot include messaging and image techniques (including head shots) that give the user the impression that they will interact specifically with the person(s) highlighted within the campaign.
    • References in an ad or within the landing page that specifically targets customers of a given brand, in an attempt to entice them to click on the ad (for example: "Attention Bing Users") are also not allowed.
    • Ads cannot give the impression that you know something personal about the user.
  • Content within images and videos must comply with Microsoft Advertising policies. For example, text or symbols within an image may not promote hate speech.
  • Use of the following is strictly prohibited:
    • Functionality that is not predictive or does not display an expected experience/outcome.
    • Any element designed to generate a click without relevant information or content at the destination.
    • Content considered click-bait such as gimmicky, sensationalized, or shocking language or images.
    • Attention grabbing mechanisms and/or animation with the sole purpose of distracting the user. Some examples include: repetitive, rapid flashing, strobing or blinking tactics, and animated GIFs.
    • Images, wording or phrases included solely to generate user’s attention and increase click through. Examples include, “use this 1 weird tip”, “1 way…”. “kill stomach fat”, “don’t buy car insurance”, “your auto insurer hates this”, “use this breakthrough…”, etc.
    • Appear to make the ad landing page look broken or as if something is not working or what is considered to be normal on a web page.
    • Impact performance: General impact on performance, reliability, and quality of the user’s computing experience (e.g., slow computer performance, corruption of the operating system, or other issues).
    • Functionality such as inactive “close" icons within the ad or on the landing page that does not trigger expected behavior. Dynamic user experiences within an ad must resolve to an expected, appropriate result on the landing page.
      • Examples include, if a user is able to select a specific state (such as Washington) from a dropdown list in an ad, the landing page experience must reflect the user’s choice (such as mortgage rates specific to Washington State), static images of radio buttons, underlined text that appears to be a hyperlink but not actionable, or inactive selection boxes or dropdowns.
    • Require users to enter personal information (i.e., name, email address, phone number) to view information within the ad or landing page.
    • This does not apply to non-personal information such as zip-codes or a user’s city/region for ad targeting purposes.

DISPLAY DISPLAY

Use of the following is strictly prohibited:

  • Services including ad verification (such as IAS, Double Verify, and Moat) and brand studies (such as comScore, Nielsen, and Survata) that use wrappers to replace creative with a new creative must ensure that the replacement creative is compliant with all policies.
    • Serving a blank creative or 1x1 pixel is not allowed.
    • Unbranded creatives (such as the Double Verify cloud creative) are not allowed.