Google, YouTube To Let Users Opt Out Of Gambling, Alcohol Ads

YouTube and Google users soon will have the ability to opt out of gambling and alcohol advertisements if they don’t want to see them, using tools the companies are rolling out.

The feature will start in Ad Settings beginning with YouTube Ads in the U.S., and will be introduced into Google Ads and YouTube globally in early 2021. Countries with legal restrictions against serving gambling and alcohol ads will not see any change in their policies.

“We’ve heard feedback that some people would prefer to limit ads in certain categories like alcohol, so today we’re launching a new control in Ad Settings, enabling people to see fewer alcohol ads, with gambling as an additional option,” Debbie Weinstein, vice president of YouTube and video global solutions, wrote in a post.

This feature doesn't opt people out of all ads. The intent aims to have the ability to block all ads from a given category, but there are certain ads that can be difficult to categorize. 

Google wants to remain fully transparent so they’re using "see fewer ads" rather than "see no ads" or "block ads" to appropriately set expectations that while significantly reduced, people may still see ads related to a selected category.

A company spokesperson said Google will continue to work to get as close as possible to blocking all ads within a selected category.

Google also gained the support of the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking. The two organizations have been working with the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) and its members such as beer, wine and spirits producers, taking into account their expertise on standards for responsible alcohol advertising and marketing.

There are other features that block or mute ads. The feature called Mute this ad has been around for some time. It lets people choose the ads they would rather not see. These controls live alongside the policies determining when and where gambling and alcohol ads can be shown per local laws.

This extra step gives users greater control. It is also reversible, should someone change their mind and want to once again see the ads. 

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