Help Center Manage Your Account Ad Targeting using Restrictions

Restrictions for an ad, zone, campaign or group

Restrictions can be applied to any ad, zone, campaign or group to target a specific audience. For example: Ad "Test123" should only be displayed during Monday, from 9-5, for visitors from Canada. See a full list of available restrictions. Restrictions should not be added if the ads can always be shown. For example: if you want this ad to display all days, you do NOT need to create a restriction to show in all 7 days (Mon-Sun).

Set up Restriction(s) for an Ad

  • For a new Ad: After you have created and saved a new ad, you would want to choose the option "Apply targeting/restrictions to this ad" to add restriction(s) to this ad.
  • For an existing Ad: Click on the ad name, click on the "Restrictions" tab, and then "Add" tab to create a new restriction for this ad.

View all Restrictions

For a convenient view that lists all restrictions and targeting criteria, you can access the summary page from the main menu "Tools / Targeting Summary". It also displays a timeline of all ads with Start/End date.

Multiple Level Restrictions

You can build a restrictive funnel to make sure an ad appears precisely to the right audience. If there are restrictions on ad, zone, group and campaign, the ad's restrictions will be evaluated first. If the ad's restrictions pass, then restrictions from the next level, including all linked zones, groups and campaigns will be considered next in that respective order. If the ad's restrictions fail, the ad is blocked from showing.

Shared Targeting Restrictions

If you have multiple ads that have similar targeting criteria (eg: target several U.S. states), you do not have to put the same restrictions in each of the ad. You can apply the restrictions to a group/campaign, then link the ad to this group/campaign. However, inheritance from multiple levels and items can be complex and caution is required to avoid conflicts.

AND vs. OR

You can set up multiple restrictions together. They connect with each other via a logic conjunction (AND) or a logic disjunction (OR).
  • A OR B is true when either A or B is true
  • A AND B is true only when both A and B are true
  • AND has a higher priority than OR. Operator precedence is important when you combine multiple ANDs and ORs. Therefore, A OR B AND C is the same as A OR (B AND C)

Combining Multiple Restrictions

Ad targeting with multiple restrictions can be very powerful but it can also be challenging to get it right. When combining multiple logic operators, AND has a higher priority than OR.

Multiple "Show" restrictions
For this setup, OR should be used instead of AND (with exceptions).
  • Example: You want to show this ad to visitors from these countries: USA, Canada
  • Problem: Show to visitors from USA AND Show to visitors from Canada is impossible because a visitor cannot be in both USA and Canada at the same time
  • Solution: Show to visitors from USA OR Show to visitors from Canada
Multiple "Don't Show" restrictions
For this setup, AND should be used instead of OR (with exceptions). This is similar to a double-negative sentence.
  • Example: You want to hide this ad from visitors from these countries: USA, Canada
  • Problem: Don't show to visitors from USA OR Don't show to visitors from Canada will still show to a visitor from USA/Canada because one condition passes and one fails means that the final result passes
  • Solution: Don't show to visitors from USA AND Don't show to visitors from Canada

Priority Group

For a complex scenario, you should separate restrictions into different groups. Restrictions in the same group share the same priority during the evaluation of multiple restrictions. Priority group is an advanced setting and it is only available when you edit an existing restriction.

For example: A or B or C and D and E is difficult to understand. You can group A, B, C into one group and D, E into another group. The final evaluation would be (A or B or C) and (D and E). To view the grouping brackets, click on the icon of the last row.

Typically, when you combine multiple ORs, you can group them into different priority groups. For example, multiple date ranges DailyQuota AND MonthlyQuota AND (Feb-Apr OR Aug-Sep OR Nov-Dec). In this example, DailyQuota and MonthlyQuota have priority group 0. Feb-Apr, Aug-Sep, Nov-Dec have priority group 1. Another example for multiple geo-targeting: DailyQuota AND MonthlyQuota AND (Canada OR Australia OR Germany)

Preview and Testing Tool

Under "This ad would" column, you see "SHOW", "DON'T SHOW", or "N/A". This column is only an example with your current data. It will certainly be different for each visitor, depending on his/her browser, device, IP address, originating country and other user-specific settings.

Click on the icon of the last row to view a detailed logical evaluation and test the combined restrictions with your own value (IP address, URL, etc.)


Please check your restrictions for potential conflicts and overlaps, which restrict your ads from showing to the expected/right audience. For example: Ad XYZ should show to visitors who speak English or Vietnamese. At the same time, there is another restriction to hide from visitors who speak Vietnamese.

Other Articles in Ad Targeting using Restrictions

Learn about ad targeting and restrictions ad serving such as frequency capping, geo-targeting, quota, roadblock, flight date, etc.

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