YouTube is pushing "clickable but not skippable" in-stream ads in the leadup to the midterm elections. Apparently they're all the rage in the 15 battleground states where congressional seats are up for election this fall.
Ads with political content are subject to restrictions on the YouTube.com homepage. Update: YouTube contacted us and said that to the contrary: "Provided the ads do not involve accusations or attacks relating to an individual's personal life or character, they can run on the YouTube homepage." Interested parties should read the Terms of Service for themselves.
Although interpretation of exactly what crosses the line is ultimately up to our policy team, a good rule of thumb is: if the categories below describe your ad, in whole or in part, the YouTube homepage probably isn't the right place for your promotion.
One of the forbidden categories is "Political & Religious Content" that includes "inflammatory or exploitative uses of political or religious issues."
But Google, which owns YouTube, hopes to see mainstream politicians spend about 10% of their advertising budgets online.
"In stream ads are probably the hottest thing in political advertising right now," says a Google advertising executive told Fast Company.
Candidates can place targeted ads in videos based on a user's interests, location and demographic information via Google's DoubleClick platform. Videos can be up to 30 seconds long.