Gmail ads now appearing as emails

About The Author

CNET Editor

Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

Google has introduced a new form of advertising into Gmail: paid email messages.

(Credit: Google)

Gmail has had a makeover, and users everywhere have noticed the change. Google's free web mail service now sorts your emails into tabs: Primary, Social and Promotions. Social is for updates on social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook; Primary is for newsletters and correspondence; and Promotions is for marketing offers and deals, such as Catch of the Day.

However, users have been noticing a new type of email popping up in the Promotions tab: paid-for-placement advertising. These are in addition to the ad bar that shows up at the top of the page and column on the right-hand side when you open an email.

(Credit: Antonio Gulli/Twitter)

They are differentiated from regular emails by a shaded background and the word "ad" appearing below the sender's name; users can open them and read them like a normal email, with information on the promotion inside with links and videos. You have the option to forward to a friend or dismiss the ad; if you dismiss it, you won't receive that particular promotion again.

"It's a new type of ad which you can forward to a friend, or star to save it to your inbox. If you dismiss this ad, you won't see it again," Google said.

You can't opt out of receiving the promotions if you want to keep the tab, though. There are two ways to stop receiving them: disable the Promotions tab, or go back to the old inbox style.

(Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia)

To do both, simply click on the plus sign that appears to the right of your Gmail inbox tabs. To disable the Promotions tab, deselect it and hit save. To go back to the old inbox, deselect all tabs. Alternatively, if you want to see what sponsored promotions are tied to your account, you can visit your Pinbox.

At this point, the new promotions are still in beta, and are only appearing for a small number of Gmail users. CNET Australia has contacted Google for information, and will update this story when we know more.

We got used to the ad banners appearing in Gmail, but this feels a little more intrusive.

What do you think: is it something you can live with, or is this taking advertising a little too far? Let us know in the comments below.

Add Your Comment 17

Post comment as

ToanN posted a comment   

This's reason why i love outlook mail service which is so epic. Yahoo, Gmail are trash, there are ton of junk mails in my inlook. Holy Scrap!!!


KeithW1 posted a comment   

I think he meant that people must be using 3rd party applications such as Outlook, Thunderbird, or their smartphones. I for one primarily get my email directly from the website version of Gmail, but I don't know if that's a minority behavior or not.


KeithW1 posted a reply   

Oops, this was in reply to @baileyB @seannnn


JerryF2 posted a comment   

I noticed them the first time I opened the new GMAIL... I just ignored them... Until this article, I don't think I've paid them any mind at all... I don't evern look at them... Sort of like living near an airport - after a while, you don't notice them...


GustavC posted a comment   

Time to go to Outlook?


seannnn posted a comment   

Really who logs into a website to check their email in 2013??


BaileyB posted a reply   

anyone who use bing or google or yahoo... you know, those rare people who use the most popular email services.


TimA2 posted a comment   
United Kingdom

It's easy to stop using Gmail:

1) Start using an alternative service.
2) Gmail to redirect all incoming mail to the new address (Settings, Forwarding).

I did this years ago and have never looked back. Rival services like are superior.


BaileyB posted a reply   

Tell me more about how redirecting email spam ads from google is gonna work for ya!


MattC6 posted a reply   

Yup, I use

Sponsored Links

Recently Viewed Products