Policies for Selling
Last updated August 30, 2018.
This page provides a detailed breakdown of policies that must be respected when selling media via AppNexus, including prohibited and restricted content, and detailed information about individual policies.
To print or download these policies, go to ... and click Export to PDF or Export to Word.
For policies that must be respected when buying media via AppNexus, see Policies for Buying. Note that there is some overlap between policies for buying and selling.
- Generally Applicable Content Prohibitions
- Content Allowed but Restricted
- Prohibited Sell-Side Practices
- Policy Enforcement
- Customer Support
"Content" includes ad creatives, landing pages, any inventory, or other content connected to advertising transacted in the AppNexus Platform.
Generally Applicable Content Prohibitions
Content that depicts, contains, or provides access to hate speech: gesture, conduct, writing, or display, including but not limited to anything that may incite violence or prejudicial action against a protected individual or group. Anything that disparages or intimidates a protected individual or group. The law may identify a protected individual or a protected group by race, gender, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or other characteristics.
Content that depicts, contains, or provides access to pornography, nudity, obscenity, and other “adult” content (Except risqué content as defined by and explicitly permitted by AppNexus).
Content that contains, installs, links to, or prompts the download of any malware.
Customers must have reasonable procedures to prevent malware. For the complete policy and more information, see Malware Policy below.
Content that AppNexus reasonably believes:
Content featuring the sale of or instructions to create bombs, guns, ammunition, or other weapons.
Content that depicts, contains, or provides access to violent content.
Content that depicts, contains, or provides access to defamatory content.
Content featuring the sale of drugs, pharmaceuticals, or drug paraphernalia that is illegal.
Content that depicts, contains, or provides access to any files that execute or download without intentional user interaction.
Content that automatically redirects to other sites or apps.
|Government forms or services|
Content that depicts, contains, or provides access to offers that charge for government forms or services that are available for a lesser charge or free from the government.
Content AppNexus reasonably believes is likely to be in violation of any applicable law, regulation, or court order.
Content that AppNexus reasonably deems to be (a) morally reprehensible or patently offensive, and (b) without redeeming social value.
|Flash Cookies and other LSOs||Do not use LSOs including flash cookies, browser helper objects, and HTML5 localStorage. Ad creatives hosted by or trafficked through the AppNexus platform may not set Flash cookies or other local shared objects (LSOs) for purposes of online behavioral advertising, ad delivery and reporting, or multi-site advertising. Prohibited uses include, but are not limited to, storing user IDs, interest segments, user browsing history, or other unique user data.|
Fake Errors and Warnings
Content that displays fake errors or warnings to induce user action, including, for example, warnings about viruses, missing codecs, and corrupt disks.
|Inadequate privacy notice or consent|
Content that does not provide notice, does not obtain necessary user consent, and does not provide end-users with information and choices, each in accordance with applicable law, for data collection or for material functionality of a site or software through which ads are delivered, or through which data are collected for subsequent use in advertising.
|Interferes with navigation|
Content that causes interference with user navigation (e.g. preventing a user from leaving a page, by popping dialogs, pop-ups, new windows, etc.).
|Interferes with other ads|
Content that obscures, replaces, modifies, or otherwise interferes with another party’s ads or ad inventory.
Content with an unusually high click through rate, or content that automatically generates clicks on ad units.
Content Allowed but Restricted
AppNexus allows gambling content, but with geographic and other restrictions. In general, Sellers are responsible for ensuring compliance with all applicable regulations. See the full Gambling Policy below.
AppNexus will not allow pornographic or obscene content (inventory, ads, and landing pages) to be bought or sold over the AppNexus platform under any circumstances. However, with explicit permission, "white labeled" (CNAMED) customers may transact in sexually-oriented, non-pornographic, non-obscene content within their own direct relationships on their own managed inventory. Notwithstanding this policy, AppNexus may remove or deactivate any content in its reasonable discretion.
Toolbars, Plugins, Applications, and Resold Inventory
For any inventory generated from a user-installed toolbar, plug-in, app, or other mechanism, if the mechanism inserts or otherwise adds advertising units to an inventory source, and such source is owned or operated by a third party that is unaffiliated with the seller of the inventory, and such advertising units are added without explicit authorization from the third party, the inventory may be sold on AppNexus only under certain conditions, as described in Toolbars, Plugins, Similar Inventory Sources, and Resold Inventory Policy below.
For ads that promote, and directly or indirectly link to sites that contain software, the software must:
Prohibited Sell-Side Practices
|Misrepresented inventory||Content that does not accurately represent the source or type of inventory, except as configurable within the AppNexus Platform and permitted by AppNexus.|
|Excessive ad units||Sources of inventory, e.g. websites, may not contain an excessive number or density of units.|
|No ad units|
Sources of inventory, e.g. websites, that have no visible ads.
Websites that do not appear to function.
|Sole purpose of garnering ad impressions|
Content that clearly appears to be intended for the sole purpose of garnering ad impressions, without providing any material content or service to users.
Content that simulates or artificially initiates clicks, impressions or conversions, including by automatically refreshing tags or pages or via the use of nonhuman traffic.
Members may not sell inventory on the platform that they do not own or operate without the permission of the owner of the inventory’s underlying domain or app.
or the complete policy and more information, see Toolbars, Plugins, Similar Inventory Sources, and Resold Inventory Policy below.
|Illegal or harmful||Content or practices not otherwise addressed in these policies that may violate any law, rule, or regulation, or may otherwise be harmful to AppNexus or a third party.|
All clients are responsible for adhering to applicable privacy laws and self-regulatory codes in their use of the AppNexus Platform. In some cases the AppNexus Platform provides features that clients may find useful in furtherance of their own compliance. For useful information about privacy and the AppNexus Platform, see our information page, Privacy and the AppNexus Platform.
Clients are responsible for ensuring that consumers are notified about the data collection and use practices taking place on the sites or apps from where they make inventory or data available through the AppNexus Platform, including by taking steps to ensure that such practices are disclosed to end users in sellers' and sellers' clients' or partners' websites, and in the applicable websites and mobile apps where data is collected or used for advertising. Exactly how and where such disclosures are provided will depend on the particular context.
Notice to consumers should include:
AppNexus recommends that clients that allow collection or use of data for behavioral advertising use the Ad Choices icon. AppNexus does not provide a license for use of the icon, which must be licensed directly via the DAA or local equivalent.
|Choice and Consent|
Clients must obtain appropriate consent for data collection and use, including cookie usage, as applicable, that results from their participation on the AppNexus Platform, or otherwise from their use of AppNexus Services.
For users located in the EEA, AppNexus is registered with and supports the IAB Europe Transparency and Consent Framework (the “Industry Framework”). The Industry Framework is designed to allow Clients the means to choose which third parties (“vendors”) are able to access the devices or process the information of their users, for purposes and pursuant to the legal bases the third party provides in advance through the Industry Framework’s vendor list, and provide dynamic transparency and choice to their users about each of these third parties in connection with each user’s visit to the Client’s sites. If you use the Industry Framework, we will be able to automatically incorporate your choices into our Platform for each impression a Client sends to us.
For users located in the EEA, to the extent a Client is not using the Industry Framework, ad impressions must be sent to AppNexus in compliance with applicable law. We provide Platform controls that give Clients the ability to determine which third parties we share their users’ information with. To the extent required under applicable law in a given Member State, Clients should use these Platform controls to ensure AppNexus only shares their users’ information with third parties that have been disclosed to the users and, where required and applicable, only when the Client has obtained the appropriate consent from the users. Clients may also be required to comply with the policies of demand sources they enable through the Platform.
For children located in the EEA, Clients must obtain consent from the holder of parental responsibility over any child under the age required for parental consent, as determined by the laws of the Member State in which the child resides.
|Personally Identifiable Information (PII)||Clients may not bring onto the Platform or associate with any AppNexus resource, e.g. ID, pixel, or domain, any data that, by itself, directly identifies an individual, such as name, address, phone number, email address, or government identifier.|
AppNexus does not allow sensitive information about end users to be used on the Platform. Sensitive information is information deemed as sensitive under applicable law or industry self-regulatory code, including, but not limited to information about users' health or finances, and information about children. For clarity, sensitive information includes “special categories of personal data” as defined under applicable laws.
Clients must use reasonable measures to identify child-directed inventory, and not misclassify child-directed inventory, and must not identify users as children under (i) for children located in the US, age 13, (ii) for children located in the EEA, the age required for parental consent, as determined by the laws of the Member State in which the child resides, and (iii) for children located outside of the US and the EEA, the age defined by the laws or regulations of the given jurisdiction, as further described in the Child-Directed Inventory Policy below.
Third-Party Buyer Policies
In addition to AppNexus's privacy policies herein, if you wish to enable the third-party buyers set forth below to buy your advertising inventory through our Platform, you are responsible for understanding and adhering to their policies, which are linked below. These links to third-party policy documents are offered below as a convenience; however, these links are not guaranteed by AppNexus to be up to date or all inclusive. Other policies may apply.
Google (AdX): https://www.google.com/about/company/consentstaging.html
All clients are responsible for compliance with any applicable economic sanctions programs, including those administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”). In connection with the OFAC compliance program:
As a company based in the United States, AppNexus Platform isn’t permitted for use by clients who are in countries or territories that are subject to comprehensive sanctions by OFAC, including Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria (such countries or territories, the “Embargoed Regions”) or are otherwise subject to sanctions by OFAC. If a client is based in a location that has recently become subject to comprehensive OFAC sanctions or is otherwise subject to sanctions by OFAC, such client’s account may be immediately suspended. We will notify you by e-mail if we suspend your account, but no grace periods or exceptions are possible.
Even if a client is not based in an Embargoed Region or not otherwise subject to OFAC sanctions, it is forbidden to use the AppNexus services or Platform on behalf of partners or clients based in any of the Embargoed Regions or who are otherwise subject to OFAC sanctions.
|Account Access within Embargoed Regions|
Even if a client is not based in the Embargoed Regions or not otherwise subject to OFAC sanctions, if a user is physically present in an Embargoed Region, they may not be able to sign in to their account.
|Geo Targeting||Clients are not permitted to run ad campaigns that specifically and primarily target the Embargoed Regions on the AppNexus Platform.|
Expanded Versions of Select AppNexus Policies
- Toolbars, Plugins, Similar Inventory Sources, and Resold Inventory Policy
- Gambling Policy
- Malware Policy
- COPPA Policy
- Inventory Policy Enforcement
Toolbars, Plugins, Similar Inventory Sources, and Resold Inventory Policy
To be eligible to provide inventory to the AppNexus platform, the toolbar, plugin, app, or other mechanism must:
- provide the user with clear and conspicuous notice about all material functionality,
- obtain informed consent from the user prior to download or installation,
- provide an easy-to-use uninstall to the user; and
- allow the user to maintain control over his or her computing environment.
For any inventory generated from a user-installed toolbar, plug-in, app, or other mechanism, if the mechanism inserts or otherwise adds advertising units to a page or site, and such site is owned or operated by a third party that is unaffiliated with the seller of the inventory, and such advertising units are added without explicit authorization from the third party, the inventory may be sold on AppNexus only under the following conditions:
- The added advertising units must not replace, obscure, modify, or in any way interfere with any advertising units present on the underlying page.
- The seller must report the underlying domain to AppNexus, i.e. the underlying page and not the toolbar domain.
- The seller must affirmatively identify the inventory using a self-audit inventory attribute and segregate it from non-toolbar inventory. Sellers may use Console or the API to classify their inventory.
AppNexus scans inventory for placements flagged as “Toolbar, plugins, or extensions” on an ongoing basis.
Members may not sell inventory on the platform that they do not own or operate without the permission of the owner of the inventory’s underlying domain or app.
AppNexus allows sellers of gambling content to make inventory available, subject to certain restrictions.
Gambling is susceptible to many definitions throughout the world, and generally refers to risking something of value upon an uncertain outcome in the hopes of receiving something of value beyond the amount placed at risk. It usually, but not always, involves at least some element of chance.
Gambling may include activities commonly referred to a gaming, wagering, betting, and bookmaking. It also may include activities involving casinos, games of chance, lotteries, raffles, sweepstakes, penny auctions and fantasy sports contests.
AppNexus does not apply a singular definition to gambling. Rather, as explained below, gambling may include any number of activities promoted by publishers or in ads. AppNexus reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to amend or expand the activities that it deems to be gambling.
For purposes of this policy, “gambling content” means the following:
- Any type of content, whether promoted by publisher or advertiser, that promotes, either directly or indirectly, online (internet or mobile) and offline (land-based or “bricks and mortar” casinos, betting shops, card rooms or other gambling establishments) gambling, gaming, betting or wagering of any kind, whether for cash prizes or other things of value, including but not limited to casino games, poker, sports betting (whether individual or parlay wagering), pari-mutuel wagering or “betting pools” (including horse racing, dog racing, and jai alai), lotteries, raffles, sweepstakes, penny auctions and fantasy sports contests.
- Any type of content that otherwise relates in any way to the foregoing activities, including content containing promotional products, services or materials, including education, “learn to play,” “practice” and other free simulation sites affiliated with online or offline gambling or wagering sites or facilities.
Notwithstanding any other provision in this policy, AppNexus prohibits sellers of gambling content from making inventory of any kind available in the following countries through the AppNexus platform:
- Hong Kong
- United Arab Emirates
Restrictions on Sell-Side Gambling Content
Subject to the preceding prohibitions, AppNexus generally permits sellers to make ad inventory containing gambling content (“Gambling Ad Inventory”) available, where such content is not prohibited, so long as the seller complies with the following requirements:
- The seller complies with all applicable laws, rules and regulations in any jurisdiction where the publisher is located and where the ads serve.
- The seller and the publisher currently hold all required licenses, permits, registrations, waivers, consents or other governmental approvals (collectively, “licenses”) to operate in the jurisdictions in which the publisher is located and in which the ads serve.
- The seller is in compliance and agrees to remain in compliance with all applicable laws and the terms of all applicable licenses.
- The seller agrees not to make its inventory available in any jurisdiction specifically prohibited by this policy, as such may be updated from time to time.
- The seller is approved by AppNexus to sell gambling inventory.
- The seller acknowledges that approval does not guarantee that gambling inventory can be sold. AppNexus reserves the right to conduct appropriate due diligence and, in its sole and absolute discretion, may prohibit any content from being sold for any reason whatever.
For information about how to prevent gambling ads from serving on seller inventory, see Opt Out of Gambling Ads.
Malware is malicious software designed to disrupt or deny operation, gather information that leads to loss of privacy or exploitation, gain unauthorized access to system resources, and other abusive behavior.
AppNexus makes proactive efforts to prevent malware from being served in the AppNexus ecosystem. AppNexus retains discretion to take any reasonable action to address malware issues.
Policies and Procedures Required
Customers of the AppNexus platform must make every reasonable effort to prevent malvertising. AppNexus has no tolerance for lax policies and procedures for preventing malvertising. AppNexus recognizes that policies and procedures might be tailored to individual circumstances, but will look to the following sources for our malvertising prevention standards:
- Anti-Malvertising Portal
- Preventing malvertising on AppNexus
- Anti-Malvertising Best Practices
- Anti-Malvertising Search Engine
Although customers are responsible to ensure their own policies and procedures are sufficient, AppNexus may at any reasonable time -- including as a pre-requisite to any campaign -- review a customer’s policies and procedures, and make recommendations to strengthen them. If AppNexus’ recommendations are not reasonably evaluated and implemented, or if at any time AppNexus finds a customer’s policies or procedures are lacking, an account may be paused until the customer makes improvements.
When malvertising is detected
Immediate deactivation for investigation: Any creative, landing page, domain, or other resource we identify as a malware threat or a source of malware will be deactivated immediately and investigated jointly with the customer. AppNexus may also deactivate or block any additional resources, including a campaign, or a customer’s entire account, for purposes of preventing malvertising or investigating the incident.
Child-Directed Inventory Policy
Laws in various jurisdictions regulate the collection and use of data from or about children.
In the US, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA) regulates the online collection and use of personal information from or about children. Under US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules implementing COPPA, it is prohibited (i) to create or update a user profile based on an activity (such as a click or a visit) on a child-directed site or app and/or (ii) to deliver an ad based on prior online activity to a user on a child-directed site or app.
In the EEA, the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) regulates the processing of personal information from or about children. Under the GDPR, the processing of the personal information of a child is prohibited where the child is younger than 16 (or the age required for parental consent as determined by the laws of the Member State in which the child resides) unless consent is given or authorized by the holder of parental responsibility of the child.
For COPPA or other applicable laws, rules, and regulations, including GDPR, AppNexus requires the correct classification of child-directed inventory:
Identifying Child Sites
- AppNexus Audit:
- AppNexus, in the course of its standard inventory auditing process (i.e., for sites submitted for AppNexus audit), may identify and categorize sites and apps intended for children.
- Sellers must use reasonable procedures to identify child-directed sites and apps using the existing categorization functionality on the AppNexus platform.
- You may not misclassify inventory you make available to the AppNexus platform.
Additionally, sellers may not identify users as children under (i) the age of 13 in the United States; (ii) for children located in the EEA, the age required for parental consent as determined by the laws of the country in which they reside; and (iii) for children located outside of the United States and the EEA, the age defined by laws or regulation of the given jurisdiction.
AppNexus is committed to maintaining a high standard of quality across our platform.
|AppNexus may take any reasonable action to enforce policies||AppNexus may, in its discretion, take any reasonable action to protect the health and safety of our platform, our customers, and end users. This includes that AppNexus may disable, block, or otherwise ban, any content, and in some cases suspend or terminate member accounts, to address content or practices it reasonably believes do not conform with its Service Policies.|
|Customers must have policies and procedures||Customers of the AppNexus platform must have policies and procedures in place to ensure compliance. While individual efforts may vary depending on the circumstances, all members are responsible for actively monitoring and policing any inventory that they make available for sale, and must promptly respond to any violations. AppNexus may review a member’s policies and procedures, and request improvements, including as a requirement to sell through the platform.|
|Withholding payment for violations||AppNexus generally reserves the right to withhold payment to sellers for any inventory sold on our platform that violates our Service Policies.|
While, as stated above, AppNexus reserves the right to take any reasonable action to enforce the Service Policies, AppNexus may consider the following:
- Whether the member has reasonable policies and procedures in place.
- Whether the member’s existing policies and procedures were followed.
- Whether and how the member has implemented prior recommendations from AppNexus.
- The degree to which the incident was preventable or purposeful.
- The severity of the incident.
If you believe your content has been blocked or incorrectly categorized in our system, please use the Customer Support Request Form to contact us.
Supplemental Policy Information
This section is intended as a source of supplemental information to aid clients in the understanding of concepts and questions relating to AppNexus policies. Please note that the content below does not contain official AppNexus policy or legal advice. Official AppNexus policies are detailed in the sections above.
Fake Errors and Warnings, and Software Downloads FAQs
Does this apply only to audited creatives?
No. This applies to all content introduced to the AppNexus platform.
We can still do whatever we want on our own managed inventory, right?
No. AppNexus’ prohibited content policies apply to all content introduced to the platform.
What else besides the examples – viruses, missing codecs, and corrupt disks – is covered by this policy?
The policies apply generally to the use of fake errors or warnings to induce user action. If you have an example and are unsure if it is affected by this policy, please contact us via our Customer Support Request Form.
What happens if we violate the policy?
AppNexus will proactively search for and deactivate all content on the Platform that violates this policy. We will continue to work closely with our clients to help them comply and to ensure a safe online ecosystem for advertisers, publishers, and Internet users. However, AppNexus may suspend or deactivate any creatives, campaigns, or accounts, as reasonably necessary, for investigation or to prevent further serving of ads that violate the policy. In addition, repeated, egregious or uncured violations of the policy may result in termination.
AppNexus prohibits content that infringes on intellectual property rights.
What criteria does AppNexus use to determine which sites are allowed?
Although we will not disclose our specific criteria for identifying piracy sites, we can provide some additional guidance. Most importantly and pursuant to our policy, we look for sites with content that is “clearly and predominantly” infringing, or sites that “induce infringement”. “Clearly and predominantly” means, quite simply, that it seems clear to us that most of the content made available on the site is infringing copyrighted material. “Induces infringement” means the site clearly encourages infringement of copyrighted material, for example by providing incentives to upload infringing content or by emphasizing that infringing content is available. If you believe we have blocked your site in error, you can open a ticket via our Customer Support Request Form .
What happens if we violate the policy?
AppNexus may suspend or deactivate any sites or accounts, as reasonably necessary, for investigation or to prevent violation of the policy. In addition, repeated, egregious or uncured violations of the policy may result in suspension or termination.
What is COPPA?
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA) regulates privacy around the online collection and use of personal information of children. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) implements and enforces rules pursuant to COPPA, and provides a set of FAQs to further explain how the rules apply.
What about non-US sites?
The FTC has indicated that COPPA does apply to foreign-based sites that are directed to children in the US or that knowingly collect personal information from children in the US. However, other jurisdictions may have their own similar rules.
How do we know if a site is a Child Site?
The FTC has provided guidance on identifying Child Sites in the new rule, in the additional guidance in the COPPA FAQs, and in the FTC's history of the its COPPA enforcement actions.
What do I do if I become aware of inventory on the platform that might be a Child Site?
Contact us via our Customer Support Request Form.
What do I do if I become aware of inventory that appears not to be child-directed but that is classified as a Child Site?
Contact us via our Customer Support Request Form.