Instead, Bing said yesterday, advertisers will have to use Location Extensions or Call Extensions to display click-able phone numbers.
The new rules – part of an update to Bing Ads’ editorial policies – also ban ‘plain text’ phone numbers in URLs, ad titles, and any other extensions apart from those mentioned above.
The policy update will roll out in the UK, the US, Taiwan and Hong Kong in February. Initially, it will affect only new campaigns – advertisers will have until June 2015 to update any existing ads so they adhere to the new policies.
However, any changes made to ads after the new policy is rolled out will have to follow the new rules. This means that even a small change to an existing ad, like fixing a typo, could result in that ad being rejected if it includes a plain text phone number.
After the June deadline, any ads with phone numbers, new or old, risk being rejected.
Bing says the new policy will roll out in all global markets “at some point in the near future,” so recommends that all advertisers start updating their ads in preparation for the update.
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