Google announced a pilot process, where it had all the developers who had their applications listed under the ‘Designed For Family’ program to add a label that appeared in their Play Store listing that their apps were ad supported. This label read, ‘Ad-Supported Family App’. How this label helped was that, it made clear to the users that the app they are downloading would have ads which could potentially be an issue if a little kid is viewing it.
With reasonable success to that pilot behind them now, Google has now made it mandatory for the developers who are using Ads in their apps to have the ‘Add-Supported’ label which would appear on their Play Store listing.
Google sent out an E-Mail to all the concerned developers that they must comply to the rule and log in to their Google Play Developer Console and confirm if they are using any sort of Advertisements in their app, be it native ads, banner ads or ads from networks. Once they confirm, the label will be applied automatically in the Play Store. Failing to log in and supply this information, post January 11, Google would not allow the developers to update their apps at all.
Here is the text of what Google sent to their developers:
Hello Google Play Developer,
At Google I/O, we launched “ad-supported” labels for apps in the Designed for Families program. Today, we’re announcing the expansion of this program to all apps on Google Play. Early next year, users will start to see the “Ads” label on apps that contain advertising, both inside and outside Designed for Families.
By January 11, 2016, you must sign in to the Play Developer Console and declare whether your apps contain ads (such as ads delivered through third party ad networks, display ads, native ads, and/or banner ads). After this date, the ads declaration will be required to make any updates to your apps. Please note that misrepresenting ad presence violates Google Play Developer Program Policies and may lead to suspension. You can visit our help center to learn more.
While developers are responsible for accurately declaring ad presence in their apps, Google may verify this at any time and display the “Ads” label if appropriate.
If you feel your app has been incorrectly flagged for containing ads, please contact our policy support team.
The Google Play Team
If you are a Google developer, do let us know in the section below if you have received similar e-mail.