If you serve ads in your app, and the target audience for your app only includes children as described in the Families Policy, then you must use one of Google Play's certified ad networks. If the target audience for your app includes both children and older users, you must implement age screening measures and make sure that ads shown to children come exclusively from one of Google Play's certified ad networks. Apps in the Designed for Families program are required to only use Google Play certified ad networks.
The use of Google Play certified ad networks is only required if you are using ad SDKs to serve ads to children. The following are permitted without an ad network's self-certification with Google Play, however, you are still responsible for ensuring your ad content and data collection practices are compliant with Play's User Data Policy and Families Policy:
- In-House Advertising whereby you use SDKs to manage cross promotion of your apps or other owned media and merchandising
- Entering into direct deals with advertisers whereby you use SDKs for inventory management
Ad Network Certification Requirements
- Define what are objectionable ad content and behaviors and prohibit them in the ad network's terms or policies. The definitions should not result in non-compliance with Play's Developer Program Policies.
- Create a method to rate your ad creatives according to age appropriate groups, including at least groups for Everyone and Mature. The rating methodology must align with the methodology that Google supplies to networks once they have filled out the interest form below.
- Allow publishers, on a per-request or per-app basis, to request child-directed treatment for ad serving. Such treatment must be in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, such as the US Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA) and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Google Play also requires disabling of personalized ads, interest based advertising, and remarketing as part of the child-directed treatment.
- Ensure that when real-time bidding is used to serve ads to children, the creatives have been reviewed and privacy indicators are propagated to the bidders.
- Provide Google with sufficient information to verify the ad network's compliance with all certification requirements, and respond in a timely manner to any subsequent requests for information.
Note: Ad networks must support ad serving that complies with all relevant statutes and regulations concerning children that may apply to their publishers.
Mediation requirements for serving platforms when serving ads to children:
- only use Play certified ad networks or implement safeguards necessary to ensure that all ads served from mediation networks comply with these requirements; and
- pass signals necessary to indicate the ad content rating and any applicable child-directed treatment.
Developers can find a list of certified ad networks here.
Also, developers can share this interest form with ad networks who wish to become certified.