Deceptive ads policy

Hi ,

I got the below mail from google regrading one of my app can any one please help me regarding this i am worried it will affect my other apps to .


Hi Developers at 

After review, , has been removed from Google Play because it violates our deceptive ads policy. This app won’t be available to users until you submit a compliant update.

Here’s how you can submit your app for another review:

  1. Remove any ads that simulate or impersonate the user interface of any app, notification, or warning elements of an operating system.
  2. Read through the Deceptive Ads article for more details and examples.
  3. Make sure your app is compliant with the Ads policy and all other policies listed in the Developer Program Policies. Remember that additional enforcement could occur if there are further policy issues with your apps.
  4. Sign in to your Developer Console and submit your app.

If approved, your app will again be available with all installs, ratings, and reviews intact.

If you’ve reviewed the ads policy and feel this removal may have been in error, please reach out to our policy support team. One of my colleagues will get back to you within 2 business days.


Google Play Review Team


  • edited February 2017
    What kind of activities on the app are in it? Which ads does it use (Admob banners or something else)?

    Were you running your own campaign in that app? I know Google doesn't like campaigns such as "click here to remove ads" advertising a paid version of the app. Either that or an actual deceptive ad might have gotten displayed.
  • edited February 2017
    You'd need to provide more info, so the Andromo team can help you (or open a support ticket and show them your app).

    Please keep us posted.
  • Some of the admob advertisers have started to use very deceptive ads such as warning messages that are very frustrating as a app developer since we have very little control as to which admod ads show on our apps. We can't sit there all day and monitor every single ad.

    Any sugggestions?
  • edited February 2017
    @keithco So that's the problem. I thought those were rooted out. I haven't seen such an ad for almost two years now and Google boasted in one of their newsletters about huge improvements in that area.

    "Second, we beefed up our technology so we can spot and disable bad ads even faster. For example, “trick to click" ads often appear as system warnings to deceive users into clicking on them, not realizing they are often downloading harmful software or malware. In 2016, our systems detected and disabled a total of 112 million ads for “trick to click,” 6X more than in 2015."

    Lot's of performance marketers did this up to 2014 or so before Google started cracking them down (and they were making big money, I know one guy personally, who was making around $100K per month net). Cloacking software developers weren't able to keep up with Google's advancements and marketers were losing their AdWords accounts super fast.

    The only way to stop this is to log in to your AdSense (not AdMob) account, check the ads that are showing in your apps, and block the offending ones.
  • I'm not sure why you're advising him to "log in to your AdSense (not AdMob) account"? The functionality that I'm aware of to check on what ads are displaying and disable the ones you don't like is in my AdMob account. This was confusing to me, so I thought it might also be confusing for him. :)
  • @tholyoak Heh, I wasn't aware that they've added Ad Review Center to AdMob. It wasn't available for a long time. Good to know!
  • It's been there for years. :) I just wish they would let you do it per app, rather than just for your whole account.
  • i got this sort of message too but they included a very specific problem in it..
    1. icons that leads to other apps
    2. navigation dropdown overlaps the banner ads
    not sure if were entirely the same
  • edited February 2017

    Why would an icon that leads to other apps (of yours?) a problem? Maybe you did not name the activity to show the user that this is another app they are going to check?
    1. Remove any ads that simulate or impersonate the user interface of any app, notification, or warning elements of an operating system. For example, your app contains: a “xXX Name of the Activity” within the App Experience that links to other apps.
    @anteos this is the message already fixed
  • I have been doing it in all of my apps and haven't had a problem. I use the Google Play activity near the end of the activities list (not in the middle), the icon is the icon of my app advertised and the name is something like:
    Top News Free App

  • @tholyoak

    Hm, I must have missed it. Since it was available (from 2013, I think) I was using it exclusively via AdSense.

    But yeah, using this tool you can block all those "trick to click" ads. It's best to block the whole AdWords account from the offending advertiser. It also helps to prevent "This app has a virus!" type of comments on Google Play.


    1) I too am linking to my other apps using Google Play activity in Andromo. I just name the app and write "Find it on Google Play" in the Description.

    Did you do the same and got in trouble?

    2) Yeah, if you have multiple activities, that can happen. Maybe the Andromo team (@colinadams) should have a look at this? It's the same for websites - if the drop-down menu covers the AdSense ads, it's a problem and a potential policy violation.
  • @hendrixs 2. yes i had that same problem too, my apps now doesnt have a dropdown.. my icon was my other apps related to the one they tagged to have a violation.. anyway just so there wont be any arguement i already deleted all those icons and just did what they told me.. problem solved.. :D
  • @megajmarketing

    Thanks for the follow-up.  Glad to hear that now everything is OK.
  • I am only using admob only but my app has link to other apps i think it may causing the problem  
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