App Suspended for Violation of Ad Policy

Hi all,

Long time viewer first time posting. I have a problem that has been perplexing me and I was hoping you guys can help me out.

I recently had an app suspended for Violation of ad policy. Here is the email.

REASON FOR REMOVAL: Violation of the Ad Policy:

Interstitial ads may only be displayed inside of the app they came with. A prominent and accessible target must be made available to users in any interstitial ad so they may dismiss the ad without penalty or inadvertent click-through.

Please refer to the ad walls policy help article for more information.

All violations are tracked. Serious or repeated violations of any nature will result in the termination of your developer account, and investigation and possible termination of related Google accounts. If your account is terminated, payments will cease and Google may recover the proceeds of any past sales and/or the cost of any associated fees (such as chargebacks and transaction fees) from you.

If your developer account is still in good standing, you may revise and upload a new instance of the application that is compliant with the developer terms. Before uploading any new applications, please review the Developer Distribution Agreement and Content Policy.

If you feel we have made this determination in error, you can visit this Google Play Help Center article for additional information regarding this removal.

The Google Play Team

Now the reason I am perplexed is because my app doesn’t show interstitial ads outside of the app. I am not that great of a coder to be able to pull something like that off.
I do have exit ads with Startapp and Tapcontext. Thats it. No other interstitial ads to speak of. I cant think of what else could of caused this violation to occur.

Could the exit ads not be considered “inside the app”?

I do have a EULA that appears when my live wallpaper is selected, could that be the problem?

Its soo strange. I never thought I would get my app suspended when trying to play everything by the book. Of course it was my most popular app.

Any ideas?

EDIT: Forgot to mention. I am using Startapps Post Call Manager. So that may be an Issue as well. As it is an Out-of-App ad, but again. Its all guessing at this point.

Also, I have other apps with this same configuration but none of them have been suspended… Ya…

Tough one… But I’m GUESSING that you could be requesting the advert when the user exits, and it shows up 2 seconds later. This in itself could violate that policy. You should make sure your ad has already loaded before the user exits the app. If it hasn’t then don’t show the ad. When its loaded you then show it once the activity has been stopped.

Personally though what I would recommend is just getting rid of that interstitial ad altogether for now and creating an update. Then appealing against the violation explaining that you’ve got rid of it with the latest update. This will guarantee your app gets reinstated… After this bring it back or think of a safer place to show it, but make absolutely sure it doesn’t appear a few seconds after the user has exited.

From my experience of getting an app banned from Google Play, and also banned from Admob in a separate incident. The best policy is to make 100% clear you understand what you have done wrong by reading the policies x100 times. Release an update to fix it, then make an appeal. DO NOT make an appeal before you are sure you have resolved the issue.

Hope that helps!

In addition to the above, keep the following line in mind:

If you have an interstitial that doesn’t have an obvious way of closing it, that also violates the policy.

I don’t get it. Now exit ads are not safe??

@SimpleWorkerZ - could you show a screenshot of your exit ads? Maybe the close button is not there / not easily visible?

Same is mine . App suspended . If you successful about back to your app please notify me but i dont believe they will give back your app

Here are the ads presented upon exit.


I did notice that there is about a 1 second lag between the time the app is closed and the ad is presented. This is most likely the reason for the violation. I am again guessing here.

Keep guessing! I have a plan to fix this issue but don’t want to close this thread to new ideas.

Agreed ^. I believe you need the app’s content behind any interstitial at all times. Otherwise it’s considered ‘out-of-app’

Thanks for the help! Much Appreciated. I think we are all learning here and so is Google, to bad they don’t have to lose all their income and eat ramen for a week.

From the email it looks like my app is gone for good. Sad to see so many active users gone. The app is suspended in my account and cant be accessed at all. Even when I fix the issue and reupload a new version I still lose out on all the active users. Sad…
What is the point of appealing once I fix the issue and reupload the app? Any reason for doing this?

I don’t believe it is possible to upsuspend an App, even in the email it stats that I can upload a new version with the issue fixed, but my old app is gone for all time. :frowning:

Sorry to hear this :frowning: So you only have exit ads with Startapp and Tapcontext? Do you load them when user press back button on exit the app?

Yep, just those two. When a user presses the back button they get Tapcontext, when they press the Home button they get Startapp.

Hm. While the delay between app exit and interstitial showing is most likely the source of the violation, I wonder if this ad had any effect too. It does go way out of its way to make the “Not now” button not look like a button, and draw the user focus away from it. (I didn’t even notice it was there the first time I looked) After all, the policy does say the dismiss button has to be prominent, and that one is the complete opposite.

Well, showing the ads when user exits the app should be fine. Be showing them when user presses home button is a violation I think. How do you detect home button pressed? Do you show it in onPause()?

good to know…I was actually about to integrate with Startapp but now i’ll have to rethink that. More importantly need to be very cautious with exit ads with googles new policy.

If you reupload fixed version and they reinstate your app your active users should be just fine - they don’t know your app was suspended.

who told you guys that showing an ad on exit is “fine”? where did you actually see that? as far as I am concerned, showing anything on exit is considered outside the app.

yes looks like exit ads are not compliant. admob’s example code doesn’t mention using inters on exit. On top of that, using TapContext’s antivirus ad is strict no no.
I am not removing exit ads for now in my apps but if I hear some more incidents, lot of work for me now to remove those exit ads :frowning:

So how about Appbrain on exit? while users click back button… They are not legit anymore?

@SimpleWorkerZ, How long was your app present on market? How may total download did it have?

Is google checking all apps one by one, or only those older and ‘successful’ ? Anybody has an idea?

Hm it seems that real problem is startapp out of the app ads and not exit ads.
Also showing ads on home button is very wrong , this is just my opinion on this .