I have recently been doing some work for a client building an automated task in python that accesses the Google Ads API using a Service Account and got stumped by a very persistent “NOT_ADS_USER” error.

Despite the fact that we only wanted to use the API for reporting purposes (generating and downloading aggregate campaign statistics), the process Google makes you navigate to access the API is… arduous. It involves creating the Service Account (fair enough), enabling an API and generating a developer token in Google Ads, then make a DOMAIN WIDE DELEGATION to the service account! Anyway, I won’t go into detail on those steps here as the documentation for those steps is decent, but let’s look at a key step which I couldn’t find mentioned in the documentation anywhere.

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