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Ad or site content that tries to mislead site visitors threatens customer safety. Microsoft bans such content, including what can be reasonably perceived as being deceptive, fraudulent or harmful to site visitors. Examples include: unsubstantiated claims, free offers or price promises, misleading ads and promotion of third party products and services. Find more specific policies about misleading content below.

Unsubstantiated claims

Advertising that includes unproven claims or endorsements is not allowed.


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Ads may not make unproven factual claims.
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Ads may not make claims that cannot be supported by evidence.

Free offers and price promises

  • The landing page must prominently feature any special prices, discounts or free offers that are described in the ad.
    • For example, if your ad offers select movies at 50% off, the landing page must feature the movies that are 50% off.
  • The terms and conditions of an offer must be presented prior to the signup or purchase decision. The disclosure (or notice that a disclosure applies) must be made in close proximity to the claim, and must be clear, conspicuous and in a font equal in size to that of the base font of the landing page.
  • If the ad or landing pages contain “free,” “complimentary” or other similar offers, your ad and landing page must comply with all applicable legal requirements.
  • The landing page must include special prices, discounts or free offers described in the ad.
Illustration showing an ad with text, Sale: 50% off, leading to a landing page prominently featuring the same text.

Misleading ads

  • Prices and payment terms must be clear and accurate. Subscription services must be clearly disclosed upfront.
    For example:
    • Ads and landing pages may not claim a price of $9.99 when the true price is $9.99 per month.
  • Ads and landing pages must not charge money for products or services that are widely available elsewhere for free or otherwise exploit users’ unfamiliarity with standard costs.
    For example:
    • Advertisers may not charge for downloading a product, like Skype, when the same software is offered for free by the owner.  
Illustration showing an ad leading to a landing page charging a fee for Skype, a product that is widely available elsewhere for free.

Promotion of third-party products and services

Advertisers offering services or otherwise promoting a third-party product may not claim affiliation with the owner or manufacturer of the product when no such relationship exists.

  • Advertisers may not state or imply that they are the owner of a product or service when this is not the case, and must disclose when the product or service may also be available somewhere else (by the owner for example).
  • Advertisers must be accurate when describing their relationship with the owner of a product or service (for example if they are authorized distributors).
  • Brands, logos, etc., may not be used deceptively, either in ad copy or website, in a way that tends to suggest that the site, product or service is owned, managed, promoted or endorsed by the owner of the product or service, unless a qualified relationship exists (parent-affiliate, certified partners, authorized resellers, etc.).
    • Certified partners and resellers must comply with the requirements of the certification program, including brand usage policies, and may not misuse their certification credentials for the purpose of misrepresenting affiliation or endorsement, or otherwise conveying legitimacy to their sites and offers for deceptive purposes.
  • Advertisers may not use misleading display or destination URLs or domains.
  • All sites must provide access to contact information, such as a valid phone number, email, contact form or mailing address.
  • Advertisers must not claim to provide a service that can only be provided by the actual owner of the products or service advertised. For example, a third party may not claim to be able to reset email passwords.
  • The fulfillment of the original customer’s request, as advertised in ad copy, must not be made conditional to the provision or purchase of other products or services. Other products or services may be promoted on the website, but they must be clearly identified as such, and it must be easy for the user to decline them.
  • Advertisers may not promote online technical support to consumers for products or services that the advertisers do not directly own.
All disclosures and statements required by this policy must be made available in close proximity to the offer, and must be clear, conspicuous and legible.


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Advertisers may not promote online technical support to consumers for products or services that the advertisers do not directly own.
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Advertisers must not claim to provide a service that can only be provided by the actual owner of the products or service advertised.

Government Services and Products

  • Advertising for products and services offered by the government is only allowed directly from the government. Some examples include, but are not limited to: Passport, Visa, ESTA, birth certificate, change of address, license/registration renewal, carte grise, food stamps/emergency funding, and social security.
    • *For clarity, services that are not provided by the government such as legal services, law firms, accounting, and tax services are permitted.
  • Advertisers may not falsely pose as, or claim affiliation with a government agency. 
  • Websites cannot use methods that make their site appear to be the government through the use of items such as official colors, seals, logos, domain names, etc.

Help icon Help with Microsoft Advertising policies

         Use these links for more help with Microsoft Advertising policies.