Prohibited products on TV adverts

TV adverts are not only about writing screenplays and producing stunning TV commercials. It is also about checking the laws and rules of every country. Being this even more important than having a great production process. There can be some prohibited products on tv adverts that you did not know of.

Most countries have the same basic rules, like prohibitions on advertising illegal products and services. As well as for counterfeit goods, and even political advertisements.

However, some nations have different rules.  So now, we will talk about which items are not allowed on TV adverts depending on the country, and why.

prohibited products on tv adverts - censored product

Product prohibitions

There is a reason why countries have banned some products. And this is to safeguard tv viewers from buying certain items and to eliminate the risk of companies dressing up in the adverts their products as something good.

This protection is heightened when it comes to children’s advertising, as this group is more vulnerable to what others say and may develop harmful behaviours due to what they see in their early years. As a result, several nations completely prohibit advertisements before, during, and after a children’s programme airs on television.

In Australia, for example, you will only be allowed to view an alcohol advertisement on TV during adult times and sporting events, and the same is true for gambling advertisements and R-rated film advertising. Advertisements for obscene films are always prohibited on television.

Then there are nations where ads on public television are completely prohibited, such as the United Kingdom with the BBC, Spain with La 1 and la 2, and Sweden with SVT1 and SVT2.

The peculiarity of the United Kingdom is that, in addition to the basic limitations such as cigarettes, weapons, pornography, political advertisements, and alcohol, there is a particular addition to this list. No one may disrupt religious services or events in which members of the royal family are present.

Although most countries have the same basic restrictions, countries such as the United States and New Zealand allow prescription drug advertising, which is not permitted elsewhere.

Moreover, in the Netherlands, alcohol is always allowed when preceded by a three-second educational slogan such as “drink reasonably”. In this country, the same happens with candies when followed by a toothbrush and toothpaste pictogram.


Other platforms restrictions

prohibited products on tv adverts - platforms restrictions

Although we are talking about prohibited products in tv adverts, we have made a list of restrictions on other platforms. In case you want to reuse the TV commercial you created, and publish it on different platforms. But to do this you must also understand if you are legally able to sell that product or service on other platforms.


YouTube said in 2021 that commercials relating to gambling, politics, alcohol, or “prescription medicines” will no longer appear in its masthead ad position.

This masthead position is the most visible ad position on Youtube, as it is located at the top of the website and the YouTube app.

When consumers access the app or website, the masthead ad is one of the first things they see.


If you are trying to advertise your dating services app, you won’t be able to do it on LinkedIn.

There is another huge restriction on the advertisement of animals and animal goods.

And finally, you won’t be able to use affiliate marketing on this platform. It is an advertising model where a company selling some good or service gives a third-party product or service for free. They do so because this 3rd party company incentivises them so they have more traffic and leads to their website.


When advertising on Facebook, you will need to know that if your ad links to a landing page with weapons, you won’t be able to put that ad out.

The same happens with counterfeit goods. Facebook put this law as they saw over one-fourth of all their ads were about these types of products.

And finally, there’s a prohibition on selling body parts on Facebook. Yes, you have read right, this rule exists.



Do you know of any other countries that have restrictions on certain products not mentioned in this blog? If so, please let us know so that we may share it with everyone. 

We hope you found this blog interesting. Thank you for your time in reading it.


Contact Impress Video now

If you would like to do a TV Advert with video production and marketing professionals, or any other type of video, at Impress Video we can help you. We make video production for businesses, the ones that impress. Don’t hesitate to contact us here!