Microsoft Monetize - Self-Auditing creatives

When adding creatives to Microsoft Advertising, it's to your advantage to submit each creative to Microsoft Advertising for human auditing. The manual audit process includes checking technical attributes, sensitive categories, offer category, brand, and language to enable seller protection features on the platform.

If you are not able to submit creatives to Microsoft Advertising for audit, either because they do not meet our creative standards or because Microsoft Advertising does not audit your particular creative type (interstitial or pop), we strongly encourage self-auditing in those cases. Be sure to self-audit the technical attributes,sensitive categories, offer category, brand, and language that have been associated with the creative. Whereas very few sellers allow unaudited creatives to run on their publishers' inventory, sellers often do allow self-audited creatives, so self-auditing enables much greater access to supply than unaudited creatives.

Benefits of standardization

Self-audited creatives are only eligible to run on sellers' inventory that have set your trust level to Medium or Maximum in their Demand Partners settings. As an advertiser, it is critical that you don't betray the seller's trust and ensure that the seller can rely on your self-audit.

An ecosystem of standardized audit practices and open trust settings will greatly increase liquidity for every member on the Microsoft Advertising platform. If a seller feels like they can no longer control the types of creatives that serve on their inventory, their first action will be to reduce the trust level of the buying member and effectively limit access to their supply. Standardization will ultimately benefit everyone by leading to more liquidity.

Applying sensitive categories to generic creatives

One of the hardest parts of self-auditing creatives is identifying the correct sensitive categories, especially for generic creatives.


If you ever have questions about how creatives should be categorized, feel free to reach out to

Correctly categorizing download offers

It is important to recognize the difference between the Download/Watch/Play Button sensitive category and the Software and Web Apps offer category. Apply the Download/Watch/Play Button sensitive category when the creative features a download or watch or play button. Apply the Software and Web Apps offer category when the landing page of the creative represents any type of download offer except a toolbar download.

For generic creatives, whenever possible, choose additional categories that describe the landing page. Examples of popular categories include: dating, free giveaways, ringtones/mobile downloads, online games, pharmaceuticals, and supplements.

Selecting brand and offer categories

In addition to applying sensitive categories to your self-audited creatives, the correct brand and corresponding offer category should also be selected. Many sellers ban creatives with an "unknown" brand as they assume it means the creatives have not been audited correctly.


Brand search is case sensitive. It is advised to start the search with a Capital letter.

When selecting a brand, be sure to select the brand associated with the landing page. If a brand is currently not in our system, you can submit a request to have it added at Customer Support. Be sure to set the Request Type to Creative Auditing, the Creative Request to Brand Addition, and provide the brand name (typically the name of the parent company), brand URL (the main landing page), and brand category in the Request Description field.

If you have multiple brands to add, you can submit an Excel spreadsheet that includes the information above for each brand.