Criteo Advertising Guidelines

If you are looking for the Criteo Supply Partner Guidelines, please click here.

Criteo and its affiliated platforms, including BidSwitch and BrandCrush, operate through the highest-quality network. For this reason, Criteo’s advertiser partners must at all times adhere to and comply with these guidelines.

To ensure a trustworthy advertising ecosystem, Criteo requires all its advertising partners to uphold high ethical standards. Each of Criteo’s advertising partners is responsible for ensuring that their content, products, or services comply with applicable laws and regulations, including applicable data protection and privacy laws and regulations.

Advertising must not endanger the security of Criteo Platform or its affiliated platforms or their users or make a call to a service which endangers the security of the Criteo Platform or its affiliated platforms or their users.

Criteo reserves the right to reject or remove a partner from its network, or to suspend access to the Criteo Platforms temporarily or permanently, at its sole discretion.

1. Prohibited Content

Criteo does not display content, products, or services that fall under the following prohibited categories:

1.1. Harassment or Hate Speech

Advertising or images that insult, defame, or threaten an individual or groups of individuals based upon race or ethnic origin, national origin, gender, religious affiliation, disability, age, or sexual orientation/gender identity.

1.2. Adult Content

Sexual, highly suggestive, or pornographic advertisements or images including but not limited to nudity, sex toys, and videos and/or images of people in sexually suggestive or provocative positions.

1.3. Deceptive, False, or Misleading Products/Services

Deceptive, misleading, purposely ambiguous, or fraudulent claims, images, offers, or business practices including but not limited to ads or content that is fraudulently or misleadingly inducing a user to click on an ad.

1.4. Illegal, or Legally Questionable, Activity and Dishonest, or Predatory Content or Activities

Advertising for products, services or activities that constitute, facilitate, or promote illegal products, services, or activities (or that otherwise enable dishonest conduct) including but not limited to illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia, and fake documents.

1.5. Intellectual property infringement, Piracy, or Counterfeit Products

Infringement of any third-party intellectual property rights is prohibited. Advertising must not include or contain any content that infringes the intellectual property rights of any third party. Examples include but are not limited to misappropriation of a trademark/logo, distribution of copyrighted material without the express authorization of the owner, counterfeit goods, pirated content, and ads that include an individual’s image or likeness without their permission.

1.6. Shocking/Offensive Content

Advertising that contains gratuitous violence, sexually explicit, pornographic, or obscene content, or other offensive, shocking, gory, violent, unsafe, profane, threatening, dangerous, sensational, disrespectful, or disturbing content is prohibited.

1.7. Firearms and Weapons

Advertising for firearms and ammunition is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, advertising for ammunition, firearms, or related paraphernalia (including accessories), paintball guns, guns, air guns, stun guns, explosives, bombs, knives or weapons of any kind, and fireworks.

1.8. Drugs

Advertising for illegal drugs or related paraphernalia is prohibited. Ads for Drugs, both illicit and recreational, defined as substances that alter mental state or induce “highs,” as well as ads for products or services marketed as facilitating drug use, are prohibited. Examples include cocaine, heroin, other illegal opioids, and substances that could be used to create “legal highs” such as medical marijuana.

1.9. Children’s Sites

Advertising in any website (or portion of websites) or mobile app that specifically targets children under the age required for consent to the collection of personal information, as defined by applicable law.

Nota Bene: BidSwitch Demand Partners can enter COPPA=1 traffic trading.

1.10. Dating

Advertising for any dating site that promotes affairs or infidelity, escort or prostitution services, or mail-order brides is prohibited.

1.11. Unsecure Content

Advertising for products, including but not limited to adware, spyware, P2P application, malware, viruses, worms, Trojan horses are prohibited. Any advertising containing harmful computer code that interferes with or disrupts the integrity or performance of the Criteo Service is prohibited, this includes but is not limited to code that:

  • Changes user preferences or browser settings.
  • Initiates downloads without the user’s explicit consent.
  • Distributes adware, spyware, malware, viruses, worms, Trojan horses or redirects users to unwanted websites, including malware.
  • Initiates pop-ups or pop-unders that interfere with site navigation.
  • Inflates arbitrage ad impressions, including advertising stacking or calling other advertising units at run time.

2. Restricted Content

Advertising of restricted categories of products and services (listed below) may be permitted only in certain countries and under specific conditions, with the express approval of Criteo.

2.1. Online Pharmacies

Advertising for online pharmacies selling medicines with prescriptions and informative websites related to medicines.

2.2. Medication and Healthcare Products

This includes advertising for prescription drugs, controlled or restricted medicines, recreational drugs, erectile or sexual enhancers, paternity tests, and any product that claims to have a similar effect to illegal substances or weight loss drugs that make unrealistic claims. In general, products that treat a healthcare condition.

2.3. Alcohol

Advertising of hard liquor, spirits, wine, beer, and other alcoholic beverages.

2.4. Gambling

Advertising for online or offline gambling. This includes without limitation, online and offline poker, bingo and other types of gambling, lotteries, race books, sports betting, online gambling-related information, and online non-casino games played for money or prizes.

  • “Online gambling” is defined as promotion of online, real-money gambling for money and/or ‘monies worth’, as well as the promotion of sites that contain or link to content relating to online gambling;
  • “Offline gambling” is defined as promotion of physical, real-money gambling for money and/or ‘monies worth’, activity or establishments;
  • “Online non-casino games” is defined as any internet-based game where money or other items of value are paid or wagered, in exchange for the opportunity to win real money or prizes based on the outcome of games, such as fantasy sports, online tournaments, or video games played for money or prizes.

2.5. Tobacco

Advertising of tobacco or tobacco-related products, vaping products, or related paraphernalia (including but not limited to electronic cigarettes, vapes, vaping devices, pipes, bongs, cigarettes, cigars, rolling papers, smokeless tobacco, or any other related products).

  • Advertising clearly intended for smoking cessation is permitted in allowed countries and under specific restrictions.
  • Electronic cigarettes and chewing tobacco cannot be advertised even when marketed as smoking cessation.

2.6. Psychics, Astrology, Fortune Tellers, etc.

  • Advertising of psychic products or services, including fortune-tellers, mediums, astrologists, tarot card readings, witchcraft, hypnosis, cult /occult activities and similar products or services.
  • However advertising which promotes the accuracy of, or guarantees results based on, astrology, psychics, or paranormal services or products are strictly prohibited.

2.7. Financial Products Services and Insurance Sites

  • Advertising of financial products/services includes banking/investment/money management products and services, loans, business opportunities, etc.
  • Advertising of insurance products/services includes home insurance, personal insurance, life insurance, car insurance, health insurance, etc.

Gambling, Alcohol and Tobacco restricted categories – The MediaGrid and BidSwitch customers:

For the Gambling, Alcohol and Tobacco restricted categories, customers of Criteo’s affiliated platforms, The MediaGrid and BidSwitch, must opt-in to trade in Restricted Categories. To opt-in to Restricted Categories, please reach out to your Account Manager. Customer may also be required to agree to certain additional conditions relating to Restricted Categories.

3. Ad Formats and Technical Guidelines

3.1. Advertising Shall Not Contain Any of the Following:

  • hacking/cracking content.
  • auto-play audio elements.
  • pop-up or pop-under content.
  • shaking or blurry images.
  • advertising that is not within the specified ad unit size parameters. multiple advertising units per advertising slot.
  • auto-refresh advertising units.

3.2. Advertiser Shall:

  • not resell ad units, except with explicit publisher approval.
  • serve an ad unit to the publisher with the correct technical guidelines and requirements for said publisher ad unit, except with explicit publisher and advertiser approval.
  • observe Criteo’s technical specifications relating to the use of the Criteo’s Platform and its affiliates platform. To refer to technical specifications required by BidSwitch, please consult

For more information on technical requirements and format guidelines, you can also consult our supply partner guidelines here.

4. Privacy and Users’ Protected Characteristics

Promotion of content, product or services that targets one or several of the following non-exhaustive list of users’ protected characteristics is prohibited unless expressly approved by Criteo in permitted countries:

  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Religious Affiliation or Belief Sensitive Health Condition
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Sexual Interests and Practices Personally Identifiable Information
  • Political affiliation/opinion
  • Trade Union Membership
  • Biometric information or genetic data Criminal History or Status
  • Religion or personal belief
  • Gender
  • Financial status
  • Age (age range is acceptable)

To learn more about Criteo advertisers’ obligations related to the information of users and the collection of consent, please click here.

Click here to view the current version of our Privacy Policy.

5. Audiences

Criteo prohibits the creation or extension of audiences or any use of its platform’s features that would introduce a targeting bias towards groups or populations defined by one or more of the above-listed users’ protected characteristics and resulting in an inappropriate prejudice in favour of or against those groups/populations.

Criteo reserves the right to detail, modify or update this policy at any time. Criteo will post these changes directly on this page and will notify our advertiser partners of such changes.

Last updated: January 2023

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