- Posted by Dominic
- On September 6, 2017
Headline Search and Product Display Ads go through a manual approval process once you submit them. There are usually two aspects that the Amazon team is looking at: the landing page (e.g. does it have at least 3 ASINs?!), and the creative that you have used. We will next look at some of the guidelines concerning the creatives/ad copy.
Before reading this article, you might find it useful to look at Who approves HS and PD ads.
Ad copy creative guidelines
Amazon provides only a few of the guidelines that the approval team uses to approve or reject a campaign. See Amazon’s Creative Acceptance Policy.
Because of this, the approval process is currently unclear and can create frustration among advertisers using AMS. You might have already tried to submit a HS or PD campaign and it was disapproved. The feedback that you were given was something that sounds like: “Thank you for submitting your campaign. Unfortunately, it was rejected as it doesn’t follow Amazon’s guidelines. Please check our creative guidelines”. You might agree that the only effect that this type of feedback has, is creating an even more cumbersome process.
Let us look at some of the guidelines that currently Amazon doesn’t provide on their website:
- All text must be spelled correctly. ASCII art is not acceptable. Special characters cannot be used in place of letters (e.g. “H0w 0ur M1nd5 C4n” for “How our minds can”) or within/around words (e.g. “E.V.E.R”). Special characters like “$” for the Dollars symbol, or “#” to represent number are allowed.
Keep in mind that these guidelines should apply across all countries in which AMS is available.
- Calls to action must be clear and direct. Vague calls to action for example “Click now” are not acceptable. “Shop now” is acceptable.
- Exclamations should not be used unless it is part of the brand/product name.
Make sure you follow these ad copy guidelines when you are creating your HS and PD ads.
- Using ALL CAPS is not allowed, unless: the title on the detail page is formatted in the same way; it is a brand name; the word is a well-known abbreviation such as DIY (do it yourself).
- Ellipses (i.e. “…”) are not allowed.
Not everyone from Amazon’s approval team knows and follows their own guidelines. The current approval process is prone to work poorly most times.
- Superlative statements/claims are not allowed (e.g. “Best laptop on the market”).
You CAN use superlative statements/claims if they are supported by an objective third-party source or study AND if they appear on the product detail page (e.g. in the A+).
- Ad copy must be appropriate for a family audience and cannot contain overt sexuality, words that are vulgar or profane (this includes obfuscated letters in words that are clearly identifiable – for example, “f**k”).
- Ad copy cannot denigrate another company or product, for example: “better made than [company/brand/named product]” is not allowed.
- Creative cannot include references to the rating, rank, price or specific savings – this is due to dynamic customer ratings, sales ranking, promotions, prices and savings at Amazon.
Special ad copy that you might wish to use with your AMS campaigns
10. Using awards and logos
You can use awards and logos in the ad copy if you follow the below guidelines:
- The awards must be present on the product detail page(s) or landing page that you are linking your ad.
- The entity that offered the award must be named.
- All awards and logos must be legible (on mobile as well), and must include the date when the award was won.
11. Using third-party reviews
You can use reviews in the ad copy of your campaigns, if they are also verified on the product detail page(s) or landing page that you are linking your ad.
For example, you can create a Headline search campaign with the following review in the title: “The best laptop we’ve tested”, PC MAG – this will get approved if it is present on the product detail page (e.g. in the A+ content).
You can also add Amazon customer reviews in the ad copy. In this case, you can only add the name of the reviewer if you have received his/her consent (this is to protect customers’ privacy).
It might be difficult for the approval team to identify customer reviews, so if the Amazon team disapproves the campaign, send them the link to the review. They should review the campaign again and approve.
12. Using non-specific savings, deals or discounts
You CANNOT make price references in the ad copy of your campaigns, as the price is another dynamic element on Amazon (same as star ratings).
You CAN promote non-specific savings, deals or discounts if you use the language below (the offers must exist for the duration of the campaigns):
- Special Price on [Product]
- Special Offer on [Product]
- [Product] savings
- Savings on [Product]
- Great prices on [Product]
- [Product] deals
- Deals on [Product]
If you have followed these guidelines correctly and your ads have still been rejected, I recommend you contact your Account manager and ask him to investigate, review, and approve. If you prove to them that you have followed the guidelines, they would normally review again and approve.