The New Policy Details Column In AdWords

Have you been seeing ad disapproval messages in the AdWords UI lately, and when you click view to see those disapproved ads, nothing comes up? What’s going on here, is this some kind of bug?

No. Unfortunately, there is no accompanying explanation to the disapproval, or why you are seeing the message all of the sudden. However, there is a “reason” for it, that reason is the new Policy Details column.

If you are like me, when you started seeing these messages you wanted to know what was going on. When I tried to view the disapproved ads and saw none, I assumed it was because of my campaign and ad view settings. It would make sense that if the disapproved ad was in a paused or deleted campaign, that if I am only viewing enabled campaigns, I wouldn’t see any of those disapproved ads. No problem. Set the view to all campaigns, all ads, all time, and search for a disapproved ad again. Still nothing. Hmm… Seems like it must be a bug then, huh?

Well on August 8th there was an Inside AdWords article which mentioned the new Policy Details column. Once the column is enabled, then you can see which ads have actually been disapproved. Before, the ad status column was the only place where you could see if an ad is active, enabled, pending review, paused, deleted, or disapproved. If the campaign or adgroup was paused or deleted, then the ad status would report the campaign or adgroup status (ie. campaign paused/deleted). Now you have to enable the new Policy Details column to see if an ads status is disapproved.

The results are certainly interesting. In this case, it was a retired ad format creating the issue… Who wudda thunk that? There are some more strange disapproval reasons I am seeing from accounts dating back to 2004 or before, such as:

Disapproved: [Capitalization] Unnecessary capitalization – In this case the ad only has the first word of each line of ad text capitalized. I have never had an ad disapproved for capitalization before, but then again I started in 2005. If your accounts are older than that, perhaps you may see some of these as well.

Disapproved: Spelling – Really, spelling? In both these cases, the ads were from back when Tom Sr. was doing some experimenting/advertising for The Bite of Oregon. The only potential misspelling in the ad was perhaps the name of the band in the headline. Would you consider Clarence Clemons to be misspelling of the big man’s name?

Potential weirdness associated with some of these disapproval reasons aside, at first glance, I like this new feature. There is still much to be desired. Ads under review still show only as “under review”, so no help there. It will be interesting to see how this new feature develops, and what the discrepancies between the theory and practice turn out to be. Check it out, it’s interesting stuff.