Content Rating problem when submitting new App (or Update) to Google Play

Within last few days, I submitted 2 new Apps and 1 App Update to Google Play.
Two of those Apps have been rejected for serving Ads not being consistent with Content Rating. After appealing, Google Play support team replied with screenshot of my App serving a Dating Advertisement.
My App content rating is 12+ and I disabled any Dating or Adult categories in all the Ad Networks I am using (but still no such filter is perfect… even with AdMob I found by chance a Dating Ad being served in my App even if Dating category was disabled… and I had to block this Ad manually myself)
I couldn’t get a reply from Google about which Content Rating my App would need to have to be allowed to serve a Dating Application advertisement.

Last year I faced a similar problem so I tried to set my Content Rating questionnaire to Adult/18, but shortly after that I received email from IARC stating that my simple uitlity Apps couldn’t be rated as Adult only and I had to retake my questionnaire.
Anyway in the last year this happened only once so I settled for rating my Apps 12+ as it seemed to be a very rare happening/review from Google.
But now something seems to have changed as I got 2 rejections out of 3 Apps in one week.

Anyone have any similar experience? at least I’d like to know if an App need to have Adult/18+ rating to serve a Dating advertisement or something like Mature/16+ is enough.

what advertising firm did you used ?
I think it is really hard now to confirm new google policy…
when somebody has an app rated 6+ then you almost can not display any ads …
so than everybody will have to rate his own apps 12+ or even higher ?
Normally my apps always were 0+ but because of ads now i have to rate 12+ or 18+ ?

What ad networks you use? Maybe they are targeting a specific network there? Better to avoid those who can’t keep their ads in line with your content rating settings.

The first rejection was because of a StartApp dating Ad. (they sent me the screenshot of the Ad and it was the StartApp splash screen which is semi transparent so showed also my App UI behind it)
The second rejection I didn’t receive an answer from Google Play yet, but this second App doesn’t have StartApp integrated.
I also confirmed with my Account Manager at StartApp and he said the Dating/Gambling global filter was active already.

Anyway as I said before, some days ago I noticed a Dating Ad in another of my App served by AdMob (even if I have blocked the Dating Category in Admob console). So even the best Networks aren’t really good with assigning proper categories or filtering them.
Now I started rating all my Apps at 16/17/Mature level and published 4 apps without rejection yesterday, I hope this is enough. (I would even rate them at 18/Adult but this seems to trigger some kind of check/control from IARC so it’s not an option too.)

I will update post here when/if Google gives me more info about the Ad that caused the second rejection.

Will this trigger another problem if your app is targeted everyone but rated 16+? You need to tick almost everything to get 16+ in content rating if not mistaken.

I don’t know… Google Play doesn’t seem to care about how you obtain the Rating value. And so far IARC didn’t sent me any direct email about the 16+ rating (which they did last year when I rated some Apps 18+)
It was kind of sad/funny last year when I had this problem for the first time: on one side Google asked me to rate my App higher because for their policy Ads are included in the content that needs to be rated. On the other side IARC was telling me that their questionnaire must not include/consider user generated content nor Ads.
I have a couple of email back and forth with both Google and IARC forwarding each email to the other party… but in the end both kept their position as they have different policies. Which is the funny/sad part… how the fu*k they agreed to work together if they ask to rate different things using different policies.

Having the same issue right now. It was over rated. Then under rated. I can’t figure it out. Vague answers from Google. My app is somewhat similar to others with a few improvements. Filters, special settings and etc.
All of these applications I see like mine are rated E for everyone.
I can’t figure it out.

Did you get email from IARC? or from Google? or both?

First iarc then google everytime after that.* I tried 6+ 12+ 16+ 18+ they’ll tell me go back check sexual content because I said yes to everything.* I remove some.* They tell me check violence.* I remove some.* Then my rating not accurate.* I add back some.* They tell me to check advertisement ads. I remove all sensitive material from sensitive category. Resubmit. Now I’m back to review content rating guideline. Take questionnaire again. * It’s ridiculous.* They don’t give you a straight forward fix.* Keeps you guessing

How do you guys achieve a specific content rating? I mean rating is calculated automatically if you honestly answer the questions.
Also i believe this is the responsibility of ad networks to serve ads according to the app’s content rating.

We achieve a certain content rating usually by lying. They don’t even care. Yes rating is automatically calculated after you answer your questions truthfully. But its never right. Ad networks lets you add to any app. its up to you to filter these out if possible because google will block it.

Ain’t this against the GP policy by submitting incorrect information?

BTW there is an option content rating in Store Listing, which you can set to medium maturity, high maturity etc. What do you think are they not considering this field any more?

I would assume so. But now i know its based on more then just the current app. Its based on my developer account as whole. I finally got reply. according to the following. It was a small banner ad image with a girl showing some skin. Plus any content from my developer account or website. So I guess i will have to rate all my applications at least 17+ because of my other applications as well. I have seen some people mentioning turning all of the app contents into a higher rating IARC level just to be safe. I guess that is the only way it will work.

They could of mentioned this 7 rejections ago but nope. They just say. check ads. retake questionaire.

Your app was previously rejected because you’ve used a screenshot with sexually explicit ad placement in your Store Listing.

Going forward, I strongly recommend that you remove / modify this image and ensure that the content rating of your app reflects not only the primary purpose of your app but also the ads you are serving to your users.

Our content policies apply to any content to which your app displays or links, including any ads it shows to users and any user-generated content to which it hosts or links. Furthermore, they apply to any content from your developer account which is publicly displayed in Google Play, including your developer name and the landing page of your listed developer website. In addition to complying with these policies, the content of your app must be rated in accordance with our Content Rating Guidelines (link below).

Please let me know if I can help with anything else.

Use ad networks that give you option to turn off specific categories like admob and FAN gives. I have disabled gambling, dating and sexual. If some ad network don’t give that option you can contact support to disable these ads but that is not that much safe.

If dating is all about numbers – how many dates you go on a week/month/year, how many times you put yourself out there, etc. – then the popularity of dating websites and apps have made this even easier. You literally have more people than ever before to choose from and can have a date every night of the week if that’s your jam. I’m not into that, though – I think you need to pick one form of online dating and stick with it

of course, dating is a good think, however, what pitfalls can I face while dating?

Buddy, dating is like our life - you will never know when you will face problems, so you have to be ready to any challenges of your life and dating in particular. For example, recently I started chatting with a woman from Russia, and you know, she was so beautiful that I even thought that it’s a photoshop, and all in all it seemed that it’s a fake account… Lol, I even tried to find the answer in the Internet about dating Russian woman and I found an article where there were listed pitfalls while dating Russian women online, so, after reading this info I understood that most likely it’s a photoshop, because Russian woman, as it turned out, prefer showing their old or heavily edited photos