8.0 Display Ad Policies for MENA

These guidelines provide greater detail about how we enforce our ad policies across MENA.

8.1 Content Restrictions

8.1.1 Cultural and Social Norms

In Bahrain, the KSA, Kuwait, Morocco, Turkey, and the UAE ads must not contain content or themes that offend the values of society, cultural heritage (especially Arab heritage and civilization), or the identity of the State.

8.1.2 Politics

In alignment with the global GAP, political advocacy ads (either for or against a political person, party, or related to an election) are prohibited in Bahrain, the KSA, Kuwait, Morocco, Turkey, and the UAE. Ads must never disrespect the constitution or criticize the policies, whether domestic or international, of Bahrain, the KSA, Kuwait, Morocco, Turkey, or the UAE. In addition, ads must not:

  • Criticize the Heads of State, members of the ruling Royal Families, politicians, state ministries/departments, security/military institutions or figures, the system of ruling, or any related symbols or imagery;
  • Jeopardize the safety of the State, its security, interests, reputation, prestige, symbols, rulers, institutions (this covers any negative depiction of the above, for example, an entertainment ad that showed the Burj Khalifa in ruins would be a violation);
  • Disrupt public order, national security, and public interest requirements (see also ‘Cultural and Social Norms’ above);
  • Damage or harm relations with other countries;
  • Feature Presidential flags and other flags printed on any apparel or in an unaccustomed position (for example, a national flag on a shot glass or floor mat);
  • Refer to or depict political groups or movements;
  • Depict a politically or socially rebellious attitude towards established cultural/social norms. For example, an ad showing young people rebelling against authority figures, such as teachers or police officers, or content that challenges the wearing of traditional clothing, such as the hijab or abaya.

8.1.3 Religion

The global GAP prohibits ad content that advocates or demeans religions. Ads for religious products and services are prohibited.

Religious script, the name or image of Allah (or Prophet Muhammad), or any religious objects or sites must not be printed on any apparel or in any unaccustomed position. This includes all apparel/footwear, floor coverings, bedding, pet products, bathroom products, and alcohol items.

All religions must be treated with respect, including non-Islamic religions. However, content related to polytheism is prohibited (for example, an ad for a t-shirt that read “In gods we trust” would be unacceptable).

In addition, ads for religious products and services are prohibited.

Ads for non-religious products must not include any religious imagery or objects. This includes references to holidays or events with religious connections, such as Christmas, Diwali, etc. Campaigns that refer to Ramadan during that period are permitted.

8.2 Image Guidelines

8.2.1 Partial Nudity

In Bahrain, the KSA, Kuwait, Morocco, Turkey, and the UAE it is common for bare skin to be covered in public places. Ads must not show anything that could be considered sexually provocative. If partial nudity is contextually relevant to the product being advertised (for example, swimwear), it may be acceptable if the model’s pose is not sexually provocative, except in Bahrain, the KSA, and Kuwait, where this is always prohibited regardless of relevance to the product being advertised.

8.2.2 Other Sensitive Images

Images containing the below content are prohibited:

  • Image material related to subjects, places and events of current political or armed conflict. Historical events may be depicted in Entertainment ads, such as a movie trailer set in WWII.
  • Images related to militant/terror/anti-national groups, or their flags, leaders, or apparel
  • Controversial Arab leaders
  • Alcohol consumption, including wine/beer bottles, glassware, or other receptacles associated with alcohol (see also ‘Alcohol’ category restrictions below)
  • Gambling or lotteries (see also ‘Gambling’ category restrictions below)
  • Swine/pig/pork products or images (for example, a Peppa Pig toy)
  • Showing or pointing the bottom of one’s foot at another person or at a religious or political object is disrespectful and must not be depicted in ads

8.3 Product Category Restrictions

The following product categories are prohibited in Bahrain, the KSA, Kuwait, Morocco, Turkey, and the UAE, unless stated otherwise:

  • Alcohol
    • The global GAP prohibits ad content that encourages, glamorizes or depicts excessive consumption of alcohol. In addition, ads must not refer to or depict alcoholic beverages, or the consumption of alcohol. For example, an ad for a dining table must not show a bottle of wine resting on the table.
    • Exceptions may be made for Entertainment trailers (but not static creatives) that show alcohol use in an ancillary manner, except in the KSA where this is prohibited. The focus of the ad must never be primarily on the consumption of alcohol and Amazon preapproval is required for any exceptions.
  • Astrological activities, Fortune telling, Magic/Witchcraft/Jugglery
    • For example, ads for magic shows, magician tricks or games, or Harry Potter magic wands are unacceptable.
  • Contests and sweepstakes
  • Education (except in Kuwait and Morocco where these are permitted)
  • Gambling
  • Health advertisements (for example: medical devices and equipment, medicines, OTCs and food supplements, pharmaceutical products, slimming and weight control products, herbal products, etc.)
  • Infant and follow-on formula milk
    • Bahrain: ads for infant and follow-on formula are prohibited.
    • KSA: ads for infant formula and follow-on formula aged 0-36 months are prohibited. Ads for follow-on formula for children aged 36 months + are permitted.
    • Kuwait: ads for infant and follow-on formula are prohibited.
    • Morocco: ads for infant formula are prohibited. Ads for follow-on formula for infants aged 6 months + are permitted.
    • Turkey: ads for infant formula are prohibited. Ads for follow-on formula aged 6 months + are permitted.
    • UAE: ads for infant formula are prohibited. Ads for follow-on formula for infants aged 12 months + are permitted.

Locale-Specific Requirements

Bahrain
  • Ads for dog food are prohibited.
  • Ads for infant and follow-on formula are prohibited.
  • Ads for financial products and services, credit services, and insurance are prohibited.
The KSA
  • Ads for dog food are prohibited.
  • Ads for infant and follow-on formula aged 0-36 months are prohibited. Ads for follow-on formula for children aged 36 months + are permitted.
  • Ads for financial products and services, credit services, and insurance are permitted.
Kuwait
  • Ads for dog food are prohibited.
  • Education ads from private universities, courses, and education centers that are licensed to work in Kuwait are permitted.
  • Ads for infant and follow-on formula are prohibited.
  • Ads for financial products and services, credit services, and insurance are permitted.
Morocco
  • Ads for financial products and services, credit services, and insurance are permitted.
  • Education ads from private universities, courses, and education centers that are licensed to work in Morocco are permitted.
  • Ads for infant formula are prohibited. Ads for follow-on formula for infants aged 6 months+ are permitted.
Turkey
  • Products or services which depict children performing fictional or fantasy acts which could result in real harm to a child if attempted by them (examples: flying, demonstrating magical abilities) are prohibited. This does not apply to works of fiction like Movies or TV characters, trailers, etc.
  • Ads for any form of Legal Services (including attorneys, solicitors, consultancy, litigation, tax, execution proceedings and similar) are prohibited.
  • Ads containing contests and competitions are permitted as long as advertisers hold all required licenses and:
    • Ads must include (in Turkish) the following in addition to the any other information that might be requested by the National Lottery Administration:
      • "This lottery is held in accordance with the permission of the General Directorate of National Lottery Administration ... / .... / ........ dated and ......-......."
      • “Those under the age of 18 cannot participate in the lottery and sweepstakes, even if they have participated, these bonuses are not awarded if they win bonuses.”
      • “Taxes and other legal obligations other than the taxes included in the price of the goods and / or services subject to the bonus are paid by the winners.”
  • Ads for brick and mortar gambling are prohibited.
  • Ads for online games of chance are permitted in case the advertiser has the dealer’s permit/gambling license from General Directorate of the National Lottery Administration provided that:
    • It does not encourage those under the age of 18.
    • The General Directorate of the National Lottery Administration is informed.
    • Ads for online betting games based on sports competitions are permitted provided that the betting site is authorized by the Department of Spor Toto Organization.
  • Ads for financial products and services, credit services, and insurance are permitted.
    • Ads of pharmacies, hospitals, dentists, veterinarians, pharmacists are prohibited. Ads may not include any image, statement or reference that gives the impression or that doctors, dentists, veterinarians, pharmacists and health institutions have made a health claim for a good or service.
    • Ads of OTC medicines and medical devices are prohibited.
    • Ads for the following are permitted: toothpaste, dental prosthetic care products, condoms, incontinence pads, hot-cold compresses, bandages, plaster, cotton, mouthwash and breathing/snoring nasal strips.
  • OTC Food / Nutritional Supplements
    • The comparative advertising of food supplements is strictly prohibited.
    • The ads of food supplements are permitted under the following conditions:
      • They do not include statements indicating that it has the ability to prevent, treat or cure a disease or refer to such characteristics
      • They do not include statements indicating, implying, or emphasizing that nutritional elements cannot be met with a sufficient and balanced diet
  • Baby formula
    • Ads for infant formula (0-6 months) are prohibited.
    • Ads for follow-on formula (6+ months) are permitted.
      • Ad must not discourage breastfeeding.
  • Ads for Feminine Care are permitted with restrictions:
    • Ads must not make any health or therapeutic claims and must not describe the effect of the product on the body.
    • Using the logo of Republic of Turkey Ministry of Health and Turkish Medicines and Medical Devices Agency on the ads is not allowed.
    • Recommendations of healthcare professionals, healthcare organizations and health-related charities cannot be included in the ads.
  • Sexual Wellness
    • Only the advertising for condoms is permitted within the sexual wellness category.
  • Weight Loss
    • Ads must not make any health or therapeutic claims and must not describe the effect of the product on the body.
    • Ads must not indicate, imply or emphasize that nutritional elements cannot be met with a sufficient and balanced diet.
The UAE
  • Ads for Real Estate are prohibited.
  • Ads for infant formula are prohibited. Ads for follow-on formula for infants aged 12 months + are permitted.
  • Ads for financial products and services, credit services, and insurance are permitted.
    • Note: ads for financial securities and commodities are prohibited. For example, ads for stocks and shares.