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TikTok’s new ad placement control features: Category & vertical exclusions

TikTok understands the importance of brand safety and alignment, which is why they’ve made significant improvements to their TikTok Ads Manager tool. Advertisers now have greater control over where their ads appear thanks to two new features: Category Exclusion and Vertical Sensitivity. TikTok states:

“The new controls go above and beyond common industry standards and guidance for protections, including the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) Brand Suitability Framework.”


Category exclusion

TikTok’s Category Exclusion feature allows advertisers to fine-tune their ad placements. Brands can choose to avoid association with specific content categories like Gambling & Lotteries, Violent Video Games, Combat Sports, and Youth Content. This level of control ensures consistency with a brand’s message and target audience. Categories you can exclude association with are:

  • Gambling and lotteries
  • Violent video games
  • Combat sports
  • Youth content

category exclusions brand safety tiktok ads

Vertical sensitivity

Advertisers can now protect their brand positioning by choosing their industry vertical and opting to avoid content within that vertical if it conflicts with their brand message. For example, a brand focusing on finance and investing may want to avoid showing alongside gambling content. TikTok currently offers 11 verticals for selection, including pets, beauty, gaming, and more.

vertical exclusions brand safety tiktok ads

Streamlining brand safety with TTAM

TikTok has introduced a dedicated Brand Safety Hub within TikTok Ads Manager (TTAM). To get here, navigate to Tools > Settings > Brand Safety (screenshot of Brand Safety Hub below). This hub allows advertisers to set brand safety and suitability preferences at the account level. These preferences then automatically become the defaults for all future campaigns, simplifying the process and ensuring consistency.

tiktok brand safety

Why this matters

Ads appearing alongside harmful or irrelevant content can damage your brand’s reputation. On the other hand, strategically placed ads enhance your campaign’s effectiveness. With these new controls, you can ensure your ads are seen in environments that support your brand’s message and values.

The takeaway

TikTok’s enhanced ad placement controls give advertisers the power to protect their brand image and maximise campaign impact. By strategically utilising these features, you can ensure your ads resonate with your target audience in the most positive way possible.

Picture of Meghan Semple

Meghan Semple

I'm Digital 24's Performance Marketing Director. My bread and butter's in advertising on channels like Facebook and Google as well as others like TikTok, Pinterest and LinkedIn... However, I'm quite a data-driven person and love chatting all-things tracking, analytics and even some SEO!