Effective: May 22, 2020



In order to monetize Publisher Inventory via the PubMatic Services, the Publisher Properties upon which such Publisher Inventory resides must contain original content, include transparent references to the operator(s)/owner(s) of the Publisher Property, and demonstrate signs of user engagement. PubMatic cannot serve digital ads onto Publisher Properties that:

  • Contain content of little to no value to the user (e.g., copied stories, content written by fictional authors, boilerplate information.);
  • Feature content taken from other sites without clear, expressed attribution, meaningful commentary or thoughtful curation;
  • Have mostly ads with little content;
  • Demonstrate no evidence of a loyal, engaged audience;
  • Appear designed primarily to display ads; and/or
  • Are undeveloped or dead domains.
  • Publisher Properties that have no clear attribution of ownership or operation, or where content authorship cannot be verified.

1.2             BANNED CATEGORIES

Banned categories differ from the restricted categories referred to in Paragraph 1.3 below in that many of them may be legal in some regions, but not necessarily legal in all regions. In addition to the requirements in Paragraph 1.1 above, Publisher Properties (a) whose primary function is to direct Publisher’s end users to view and/or click ads, (b) that are proxy sites, (c) that redirect end users to other properties for any reason, and (d) containing any of the following content (without limitation) may not participate in PubMatic Services:

  • Pornographic or highly suggestive content or images;
  • Online gambling;
  • Sales of weapons or ammunition;
  • Sale of tobacco;
  • P2P file-sharing, torrent, or anything that facilitates or promotes copyright infringement;
  • Extreme violence;
  • Hate content, including sites that advocate violence or discrimination against a specific race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or nationality, or discrimination based on age, disability, or medical condition;
  • A pattern of false or misleading information or news;
  • Excessive profanity;
  • Promotion of illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia;
  • Promotion of black-hat hacking, cracking, or warez;
  • Any other content that is illegal, promotes illicit or harmful activity, or infringes on the rights of others, including sites that provide “how-to” information on bomb-making, lock-picking, and similar topics;
  • Defamatory or libelous content;
  • Distribution of viruses and/or malware;
  • Pay per click or pay per search programs;
  • Video chat;
  • Live streaming of UCG content; provided, however, that live streaming of sports, concerts and other public events is allowed.
  • Significant unmoderated UGC (user-generated content).


Restricted categories are generally legal in most regions, but, depending on the nature of the content and the context in which such content appears on the Publisher Properties may still be considered Prohibited Content. Publisher Properties containing any of the following content (without limitation) may be restricted:

  • Adult humor;
  • Fantasy sports and/or daily fantasy sports under some state laws;
  • Suggestive content;
  • Sexual health;
  • Significant user-generated content;
  • Sale of alcohol; and/or
  • Sale of prescription drugs.

For more information on Restricted Categories, please contact your designated customer success personnel.

1.4             BETTER ADS STANDARDS

PubMatic will only serve ads onto Publisher Properties that follow the Better Ads Standards developed by the Coalition for Better Ads. For more information, see www.betterads.org.

1.5             SLIDESHOWS

A “slideshow” is a series of images or other Publisher Property content where the end user may advance by selecting a forward icon, page number, or other similar link. All of the following requirements apply (without limitation) for slideshow pages:

  • Each slideshow page may contain a maximum of three ads.
  • All ads must be positioned at or above the lowest part of the slideshow. For mobile implementations, a single ad may also appear immediately below the slideshow content.
  • Slideshow pages that automatically advance without a user click may not load new ads.
  • The content of each slide must differ materially from the previous slide’s content (e.g., minor changes to the slideshow’s text or image do not constitute a material change and are not sufficient to load new ads).
  • Auto-refresh is not permitted on slideshow pages.


2.1             BASIC GUIDELINES

  • Publisher Properties may not initiate a download or change settings without the end user’s knowledge and consent.
  • The Publisher may not mask or cloak a Publisher Property’s URL or employ any other means to obscure the true source of traffic.
  • The Publisher may not artificially inflate impressions, clicks, or requests, or source traffic from pop-ups, pop-unders, forced redirects, or similar means.
  • No Publisher Property may install nor distribute malware, viruses, or other similar malicious code.
  • The Publisher Properties may not include or launch fake error messages or system flags.
  • A substantial portion of each Publisher Property must be accessible without a login.
  • The Publisher may not employ any means to induce or trick the end user into clicking on an ad (e.g., placing arrows or text such as “Click here” next to an ad is strictly prohibited).
  • Publisher Properties deemed unsafe by reputable third-party malware-detection services may be suspended from participation in the PubMatic Services by PubMatic upon written notice, at PubMatic’s sole discretion until all such end user safety issues are addressed to PubMatic’s satisfaction.
  • Each Publisher Property must explicitly disclose individuals or entities that operate and/or own such Publisher Property (e.g. no boilerplate or otherwise vague ‘about-us’ pages are permitted).
  • End users to each Publisher Property must have a transparent method to contact owners/operators; no emails addresses using common web mail domains are allowed (e.g. Hotmail.com, gmail.com, aol.com, etc.).
  • The Publisher Inventory specifications and criteria provided by Publisher to PubMatic must be true and accurate.

2.2             AD NUMBER AND POSITION

  • The Publisher must not edit or modify ads in any way, including but not limited to, resizing the ads.
  • Publisher must work with PubMatic to identify with any of the Publisher’s brand safety or other blocklist requirements.
  • Ads must be clearly separated from the content on each Publisher Property (i.e., the difference between content and ad must be obvious to end users).
  • Ads may not be obscured or altered in any way. For ads shown in iframes, the iframe must allow the entire creative to be fully visible to the end user.
  • Ads may not appear in pop-up or pop-under windows.
  • Ads may not appear in the body of emails.
  • The Publisher Property may not contain an excessive number or density of ads. For most pages, no more than 3 ads in view at the same time is appropriate, and any additional ads may constitute “ad clutter.”
  • Desktop: Ads must appear within standard web pages. Ads may appear in other downloadable applications with the prior approval and consent of PubMatic.
  • Mobile Applications: Ads may not appear outside of the Publisher’s app (e.g. on the user’s lock screen), nor may they appear when the app user has no opportunity to view the ad (in the background, refreshing when the app is not active and in focus). Apps must be hosted on one of these official app stores: Apple iTunes store or Google Play Store
  • CTV & OTTV: Ads must appear in-stream to content, with no more than five ads played during an in-stream block of ads. For content shown on CTV apps, PubMatic generally considers Roku, AmazonFire, and, Samsung as preferred CTV app distributors, but; apps from other distributors will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Content length must be at least 4 times the length of ads shown.


3.1             GENERAL

  • Publishers may load new ads only when (a) the end user navigates to a new page or screen; (b) the current page is substantially updated with new content AND at least 1 minute has passed since the last refresh; or (c) the ad unit has remained in view for at least 30 seconds, as measured by an MRC-accredited verification company.
  • In no event may a Publisher refresh an ad unit more than 20 times per end user session (e.g. slideshows).

3.2             AUDIENCE

The Publisher must acquire traffic primarily from organic sources and shall use best efforts to ensure that none of such traffic is fraudulent. If a Publisher and/or any of its Publisher Properties acquires more than 50% of its end users from purchased traffic over the course of any 30-day period, PubMatic reserves the right to suspend Publisher’s access to the PubMatic Services until resolved.


  • The Publisher must either (a) own each Publisher Property on which ads are served via the PubMatic Service; or (b) have a direct, contractual relationship with the owner of each such Publisher Property on which such ads are served. If the Publisher Property in question has published an ads.txt file, the Publisher’s PubMatic account must be listed thereon as an authorized seller else, the Publisher Inventory will be blocked.
  • Publisher Inventory from applications, including browser plug-ins and toolbars, that insert ads into the body of third-party or other online properties without written permission, is not acceptable.

3.4             VIDEO

  • Video ads may not be served within display banner ad units (IBV).
  • Suppliers of video inventory are required to ensure no more than one video plays on a page at a time.
  • VAST video content should maintain a reasonable balance between content and advertising (e.g., a 30 second ad should not accompany a video with only 15 seconds of content).


4.1             GENERAL

PubMatic tests the quality of advertising impressions from Publisher Properties served through the PubMatic Services.  Publisher shall provide PubMatic with complete transparency with respect to the domain for each such Publisher Property at all times during the Term, and shall comply with, and, upon request, engage PubMatic to use commercially reasonable efforts to assist with, the Inventory Quality controls and procedures (including whitelisting and blacklisting) that PubMatic may institute from time to time regarding inventory quality.


  • An “Inventory Quality Risk” consists of, without limitation: (a) inventory quality issues (e.g., attempts to generate false impressions, either by using bots and crawlers, or manipulation of ad placements, or redirects where there is no possibility of viewing by a human), and (b) brand safety issues (e.g., appearance of ads in proximity of Prohibited Content on the Publisher Properties).
  • If PubMatic detects Inventory Quality Risk on Publisher Properties through use of such tools and services or otherwise, then PubMatic may either (i) not send that impression through to auction, or (ii) suspend traffic for such Publisher Properties.
  • For Inventory Quality Risk impressions made available to PubMatic for auction, Publisher shall be subject to a standard “Inventory Quality Fee” (presently $0.02 per thousand impressions) rounded up to the nearest $10 for the applicable month; provided, however, that no charge will apply if the Inventory Quality Fee for a particular month is less than $100


  • In the event that PubMatic becomes aware of inventory quality violations with respect to impressions that have been served on a Publisher Property, then: (a) PubMatic shall have the right to withhold Publisher payments solely for the applicable impressions until PubMatic has completed its good faith investigation with respect to such impressions and concluded any negotiation with the applicable Demand Partners with respect to such impressions; and (b) where PubMatic determines that there have been inventory quality violations for all or a portion of such impressions (the “Fraudulent Impressions”), PubMatic shall reduce pending payments by the amount otherwise payable to Publisher for the Fraudulent Impressions, and pay Publisher the resulting net amount in the ordinary course.
  • If there are Fraudulent Impressions served to PubMatic on a repeated basis with respect to any Publisher Properties, PubMatic shall have the right to immediately suspend traffic for some or all Publisher Properties until the levels of Fraudulent Impressions have been reduced to acceptable levels, or to immediately terminate this Agreement upon written notice to Publisher.