Copying things in Google Ad Manager? Watch that 'start time'

12 August 2019

Google Ad Manager, formerly known as DoubleClick for Publishers or DFP, has its quirks. And some of those quirks relate to what 'start time' will be given to a copy of a line item or a creative. Here's what I mean:

Copying a line item

If you copy a line item that has a 'start time' in the past, the 'start time' of the copy is set to the following midnight.

Copy line items in Google Ad Manager

This has caught me out several times. I've created an order to start straight away and copied the initial line item several times (perhaps changing the targeting each time). I've approved everything, only to later find that one line item started straight away and all the others (the copies) waited till midnight.

Conversely if you copy a line item that has a 'start time' in the future, the copy is given an identical start time.

Copying a creative

If you go into a line item and copy an active creative, the copy is given the same 'start time' as the original (ie one in the past). However if you copy an inactive creative, its 'start time' will be the current date and time instead.

So to recap - copy a line item, and the start time will either be the following midnight or the same as the original. Copy a creative, and the start time will either be the current date and time or the same as the original! Hopefully this little table makes things clearer:

If original is... Then copy has start time of...
Line item - start time in past Following midnight
Line item - start time in future Same as original
Creative - active Same as original
Creative - inactive Current date and time

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