Microsoft Invest - General guidelines for passing creative audits

There are many ways to ensure your creatives successfully pass the Microsoft Advertising auditing process. You can use the guidelines outlined here to ensure that your creatives successfully pass auditing.

For more information about common reasons creatives are rejected during a Microsoft Advertising audit, see Creative Standards.


Microsoft Advertising makes significant efforts to prevent malvertising on the platform. Microsoft Advertising clients are subject to the Microsoft Advertising Anti-Malvertising Policy and risk suspension or termination for not adhering to appropriate standards and best practices.

Microsoft Advertising Sherlock is an automated creative quality control system that continuously monitors creatives serving on Microsoft Advertising for malvertising threats. Sherlock detects malware and viruses and enforces domain blocklists. It may also check ad tags to verify they are from approved third-party ad servers.

Malvertising threats identified by Sherlock will be immediately deactivated. For more information, see Sherlock: Creative Quality Control and Part of Service Policies.

Creative content

To learn more about the content and offer types that we prohibit, see Part of Service Policies.

  • Language: It's recommended that the language of the landing page match the language of the creative. For example, if the creative is in Spanish, the landing page should also be in Spanish. However, by default, Microsoft Advertising will assign a language that best represents the targeted users.
  • Offer Categories: Audited creatives will be assigned a brand category based on the content of the landing page.
  • Sensitive Categories: Creatives that contain allowed content or offers, which may be viewed as sensitive for some publishers, will be flagged and categorized.


  • The creative and landing page must have one identical and recongnized brand/product offering associated with them. Multiple unrelated brands combined to make a single offer will be accepted.
  • Creatives should not rotate brands.
  • If the brand represented on the creative and landing page doesn't exist on the Microsoft Advertising brand list, Microsoft Advertising will create a brand for the content at the time of audit. New brand requests can be submitted before the start date of the campaign, but a functional URL will be needed in order to create the new brand. Microsoft Advertising will determine the name and category for the new brand.


  • Clicking on a creative must not initiate a download of any file type.
  • Landing pages must meet the following criteria:
    • The landing page content must meet all the guidelines listed in our Part of Service Policies.
    • The landing page must be live and functional at the time of audit.
    • The landing page must be viewable from any one of the IP addresses that we use to perform our creative audits, which are listed in the Creative Troubleshooting FAQ. For more information, see the Creative Doesn't Display section in Creative Troubleshooting FAQ.