So you sell cigars, lighters, or cannabidiol (CBD) products, and you’re having trouble finding an advertising channel that doesn’t explicitly disallow it. Google Ads, Google Shopping, Microsoft Ads, and Yahoo generally don’t allow ads for tobacco or marijuana products except in specific circumstances. Keep reading to see the important points from each channel’s policies.
Does Google allow ads for tobacco, marijuana, or CBD products?
In January 2023, Google Ads policies were updated to allow for the promotion of FDA-approved pharmaceuticals containing CBD and topical, hemp-derived CBD products with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content of 0.3% or less in California, Colorado, and Puerto Rico. Certain ad formats, including YouTube Masthead, are still restricted.
In the United States, only topical CBD products that have been certified by LegitScript can be promoted on Google. You can read more about this update on Google’s changelog.
Marijuana-related products are restricted if they promote or facilitate recreational drug use, but some can be advertised. For instance, you can find both Google Shopping and text ads for “hemp oil” and “weed T-shirt.”
Does Microsoft allow ads for tobacco, marijuana, or CBD products?
No. Although Microsoft Ads policies are often similar to Google Ads policies, in this case they are more restrictive. The promotion of marijuana and CBD products is not allowed.
Tobacco and related products are prohibited, as well as liquid nicotine and electronic cigarettes. Ads for products that are clearly intended for smoking cessation are permitted.
Does Yahoo allow ads for tobacco, marijuana, or CBD products?
Yahoo allows ads for non-ingestible hemp, CBD, and cannabinol (CBN) products on a case-by-case basis. The CBD must be derived from industrial hemp. Ads for recreational or medicinal marijuana and its derivatives, including CBD, are not allowed.
Which channels allow you to advertise tobacco or marijuana-related products?
Connexity, which owns Shopzilla, Bizrate, and Pricegrabber, allows ads for tobacco-related products.
What about vape products?
While Google and Microsoft disallow advertising for vaping products, there is a search engine specially designed for it: vapecrawler. The site states that it “lets you quickly search for the vape vendors that have the cheapest vape products you’re looking for.”
Brian Roizen is the Cofounder and Chief Architect of Feedonomics, a full-service feed optimization platform that optimizes product data for hundreds of channels. He has been featured on numerous podcasts and eCommerce webinars, and regularly contributes to Search Engine Land and other industry-leading blogs. Brian graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.