Ever wonder why some ad campaigns are not approved? What are the most common reasons for a rejected campaign you should always pay attention to?
Getting rejected sucks. Especially when you’ve spent plenty of time and effort creating your fabulous campaign. And the truth is, it sucks for us too because it’s our job to make sure your ads are up and running, successfully and profitably! That’s why we’ve put together this article here, to help you avoid any potential mistakes.
Based on data from the first half of 2021 we prepared a list of the most common rejection reasons. Armed with this information, you can anticipate possible problems before submitting the campaign for review. So, read thoroughly and remember what we tell you so that your ads will never get rejected again!
How We Decide to Reject You 😉
Let’s start with the prep. You need to know our side and where we’re coming from. So, I’m divulging some insider (not-so-insider) information on how we evaluate rejected campaigns during the review process.
First, the faulty campaigns are categorized into one of three reasons for being rejected:
- Against Compliance – the campaign does not meet our requirements, and it cannot be approved within Voluum DSP, or on any Ad Exchange that we cooperate with.
For example, if you prepare a campaign with some controversial political content, you will receive a notification:
“Against Compliance – Prohibited Content. Promotion of controversial content about politics, religions or beliefs is not allowed. Please check our Advertising Content Policy”. As you can see, at the beginning of the rejection reason text it is clearly stated that this offense is “Against Compliance”. In the second part you can read that it is of the Prohibited Content type. Next, is a short description of the issue and reference to our Ad Policy Documentation.
- Against Ad Exchange Guidelines – the campaign meets our requirements, but it cannot be approved due to a specific Ad Exchange policy. Usually, you must improve some campaign elements (i.e. creatives, headlines, landing pages) or choose another Ad Exchange.
For example, if you create a campaign with a weight loss offer and the targeted Ad Exchange doesn’t allow such category, you will receive something like this:
“Against Ad Exchange Guidelines – Vertical Violation. This Ad Exchange doesn’t accept Weight Loss category for the selected country: US. Please target other countries or choose another Ad Exchange, i.e. MGID. For more information about prohibited and restricted verticals, please visit our guide.”
As you can see, the structure of the rejection reason is similar to the example above: info about the rejection reason group and type. Next is an explanation of what happened and what to do. In this case, the category of the offer is not allowed for the targeted Ad Exchange and country. To resolve the issue you have a few options: either choose an alternative, recommended Ad Exchange, or change the offer. Instead of weight loss pills you can search for digital products with diet plans or similar verticals (like diabetes or health related offers). Also, you can try changing the targeted country (for example, you can run the ad in Canada).
- Issues – this is a collection of various rejection reasons related to technical issues, publisher updates or complaints, inconsistent campaign elements or general user experience issues.
One of the most common examples is tech issues.
“Tech Issue (redirect). Your campaign flow does not work properly. The redirection from landing page to offer page is broken. Please test your DSP campaign URL and follow this link for more information.”
The text begins with info on the type of the issue and continues to provide more detailed info on how to resolve it. In this case, you should double-check your campaign URL, because redirects between the landing page and offer are not working properly and this will result in missed conversions. Follow the link to get more information or contact our support team for help in configuring your flow.
The More You Know, the More You Can Make: Main Stats on Rejection Reasons
If you’re intrigued by how the rest of the Voluum DSP users out there are doing, have a look at our internal data. In the chart below you can see the proportions between the main rejection reason groups so far in 2021.
Granted, this info isn’t going to magically make all your campaigns get accepted, however it’s important to know how your fellow advertisers are doing. What are the most common mistakes? How do I compare with my rejected campaign rates? And how can I improve my own strategy?
You can see that approximately 64% of rejected campaigns have been denied during the review process with reasons related to our Partners Ad Policies. In general, such campaigns could be approved on other Ad Exchanges (each time our Approval Team suggests an Ad Exchange that will allow the promoted content) or there may be a possibility to fix issues pointed out in the rejection reason. That’s why it’s so important to carefully read what we send you because it contains valuable information! When and if you re-submit that campaign, implement the changes our Approval Team suggests!
The next chart shows how the percentage of main rejection reason groups changed in the first half of 2021.
The “Against Compliance” group grew because we detected much more prohibited content or prohibited campaign practices, like malicious URLs in campaigns setup. Also, this year we introduced stricter rules for the Voluum DSP platform. This was tricky to adjust to for a lot of our users, but as long as you fully utilize our support and everything we offer, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.
The “Against Ad Exchange Guidelines” group fluctuated. At the beginning of the year, we had growth with a peak in April, but after that campaigns were rejected less often for a few reasons. In May, some restrictions applied previously only to particular Ad Exchanges and we moved them to the “Against Compliance” group. Thus, they have been banned throughout Voluum DSP.
The reality is that we do not always know what’s going on on your end, the advertisers’ side, to cause so many faulty campaigns. However, note that there is a correlation between this group and Issues. From May, we noticed more campaigns with technical issues. For example, with broken URLs or incorrectly set redirects between a landing page and offer.
A similar situation occurred in January and February, but this time, the increased percentage of issues was caused by ad policy updates from our Partners. This is when you have to keep in mind that we need to align new rules to our internal guidelines.
Getting Even Deeper into the Data
The column chart below shows more granular data with rejection reasons types. Column colors are associated with the main groups (e.g. Issues – blue columns).
While it is essential for your ads to stand out, or at least draw in the user, you’ve got to strike a balance with all the guidelines you must adhere to.
The second most common type is Category/Offer Violation at 16.5%. This means that one sixth of rejected campaigns didn’t pass the approval process due to prohibited categories or prohibited specific offers on particular Ad Exchanges. The geo you select in campaign targeting also has an impact as some offers or even entire categories are prohibited in specific countries – for example, online casinos in GCC countries.
Technical Issues take the third place (11.2%). Here we have 3 subtypes:
- Broken URLs – as in web errors e.g. 404 Not Found, 400 Bad Request, 503 Service Unavailable;
- Redirect between landing page and offer not working;
- Absence of an SSL certificate.
Just behind the previously mentioned top three on the podium comes Domain Violations.
As you can see, it is one of our most common reasons, and is directly related to the brand domain used in campaigns. Remember, during the campaign setup, you should use a brand domain that works properly and is adequate for the promoted product and campaign topic.
Moving on to the next two types of issues: “Prohibited Campaign Practices” and “Prohibited Content” belong to the “Against Compliance” Group. A campaign rejected on this basis violates Voluum DSP Ad Policy and cannot be approved in this form on any Ad Exchange. The list of not allowed content and practices on Voluum DSP may be found in our documentation and in our Terms and Conditions.
“Creative Violation” is similar to the Landing Page Violation, but it focuses on the issues with content presented in the main image (i.e. sexually suggestive, provoking and shocking content or elements like text, circles, arrows) and image format (GIF, JPEG).
Rejection reasons connected with Ad Exchange Policy Updates have around 4.5%. and are associated with information and complaints that we receive from our partners. These are rules that we have to implement in our guidelines. Please, remember that each Ad Exchange has its own ad policy that can change at any time. If this happens, we need to adjust our internal guidelines.
The last rejection reason type, which is worth mentioning here, is the “Category Relevance Issue”. As the name suggests, if your campaign is rejected with this reason, one of your campaign elements, like landing page, offer or any creative, is not related to each other. In that case, you just need to unify all elements to one topic.
Other types of rejection reasons are below 4%. More info about them and the review process may be found in our documentation.
Never Get Rejected Again !
Of course, it’s not that easy. 🙁 Unfortunately.
But, with this knowledge, you’ll hopefully be able to start up and run your campaigns much more easily and efficiently than before.
Really, it’s important to take the potential reasons for rejection seriously! And, if you carefully read and then implement the feedback from our dearest Moderation Team, there is a much higher chance that your campaign will be accepted! Also keep in mind any recommendations you get like alternative sources of traffic where your campaign can be approved without making any changes. Visit our Review Process where we’ve gathered all our rejection reasons. We constantly strive to improve them – your feedback is valuable, feel free to contact your Account Manager if you have encountered any unclear communication with a rejected campaign.