Destination Digital

When It Comes To Google Ads Disapprovals, Sometimes You Just Can’t Win

The machine-learning that drives Google Ads can be a frustration. And sometimes you just can’t win. With the big platform giants like Google and Facebook, trying to capture the attention and the help of a real-life human being in order to appeal a decision can have you on a hiding to nothing.

We’ve seen issues with items like pairs of socks being disapproved as ‘medical accessories’, the top of a cyclist’s head, head down on a bike in a wind tunnel, disapproved for being both ‘too abstract’ and ‘adult content’ (!), a bride holding a bouquet with a sleeveless dress being disapproved repeatedly for being ‘explicit adult content’, and shampoo being disapproved for being ‘drugs paraphernalia’.

Sometimes you can also fall foul of trademarks in text, especially if your industry utilises acronyms to describe products and services. So although your product might employ Infrared technology, you might find ‘IR’ is in breach of someone’s registered trademark so you can’t use that in your ad copy, or that your new ‘Elysian G8’ product or innovative or ‘RQIC System’ can’t be referred to by name because someone already trademarked the phrase ‘G8’ or ‘RQIC’ in conjunction with their brand or products.

Or another scenario and more reasonably, that your garage that services Range Rovers and Land Rovers… and only Range Rovers and Land Rovers, has the ads suppressed to a lower reach due to the Trademark constrictions on those phrases. In this scenario you are advised to reach out to the trademark owner and seek permission to use their brand name in your ads. Which, you know… you can try…

Always Appeal The Decision On Google Ads & Facebook Ads

When this happens, we always give it a second and a third and a fourth shot. You should always appeal the decision, since the act of appealing can often get the item through the approvals process and correct the glitch that got it disapproved in the first place.

This advice goes for Facebook Commerce Manager accounts too.  We’ve found that Facebook is slightly more responsive to over-turning their decision upon lodging an appeal. This is an indication that an actual human being is drafted in to review the content in question. You also get to state your case in the review process too, which can help clear up any confusion.

And sometimes, you just have to give up. Work around it, choose different phrasings in your ad text, or accept a lower reach if those phrases are really important to get in there.


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We’re Google Partners, so if you’d like help with Google Analytics, Google Ads, marketing data analysis or digital marketing strategy, please email us on or give us a call on 01629 810199.

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If you’d like help with digital marketing, ads management, SEO, copywriting, websites, branding or social media management… or anything else related to the internet and digital, then get in touch with us. We’re a friendly bunch.

You can email us on or give us a call on 01629 810199 or you can use the contact form at the bottom of this page.