To start with
Facebook Ads is an irreplaceable promotion tool for those who want to tell the right audience about their business in a fast and effective way. In our last article, we mentioned that more than 20% of the whole population use Facebook (1 out of 5 people!). They chat with friends, read the news and consume tons of content every minute. Each of those people has unique hobbies, interests, and needs. Thus, you can find hundreds of thousands of potential consumers for your product or service.
The modern entrepreneur or marketer wouldn’t miss an opportunity to use Facebook Ads as a part of their advertising campaign. They will create an ad, choose an appropriate image, write an impressive sales pitch and can see their Facebook ad rejected by the system or even their Facebook ad account banned. Why?
The answer is pretty simple. Facebook pays a lot of attention to what its users see when using the platform. Thus, there’s a bunch of rules and restrictions which regulate the Facebook advertising system. And yes, you must learn all of the regulations by heart before running an ad campaign. This article is a full guide of rules, regulations, and restrictions which will help you to not to see your Facebook ad not approved.
In this article you’ll learn:
- What are the General Rules of advertising on Facebook
- What content is completely prohibited to advertise
- Which content is restricted
- The conditions of Facebook and Instagram brand resource usage
- What you shouldn’t do after the ad campaign launch.
A Facebook ad can be banned for multiple reasons according to various rules and regulations. General advertising rules can be compared with a set of moral standards which must be abided by all people living in the society. These rules cannot be broken. Facebook advertising rules cannot be broken too.
Let’s take a closer look at each of the 8 General Rules.
Don’t break the law
Make sure that the advertising object, the content of the ad and targetings meet the laws and regulations of the place you’re advertising at.
Respect community standards
The ad must meet Facebook and Instagram community standards. Thus, it would be a good idea to read them before the launch.
Minimum text — maximum value
A picture covered with 90% text won’t work and will be declined. Try to use as less text as possible on the picture to get better results.
Follow the framework
The ad must be:
- specific and accurate;
- show your brand or product/service;
- show the real characteristics of what you’re promoting.
Appropriate landing page
Make sure that the information on your landing page matches with the information on the ad. Otherwise, your ad not being approved by Facebook.
No offense, please
Don't promote anything that can be discriminatory or insulting. Facebook will ban it.
Follow Custom Audiences Terms
Take a close look at Custom Audiences Terms when creating audiences.
Request the right information
The ad cannot request the following information:
- account numbers;
- criminal history;
- financial information;
- government issued identifiers;
- health information;
- insurance information;
- political affiliation;
- race or ethnicity;
- sexual orientation;
- template questions;
- trade union membership;
- usernames or passwords.
Facebook divides potentially dangerous content into two categories: prohibited content and restricted content. There’s no way you will be able to advertise something which is on the prohibited list. Seriously, don’t even try, it’s useless. This ad won’t pass moderation.
So, let’s find out what content is prohibited to promote on Facebook.
- Adult content. Sexual content is totally forbidden including images of the naked body and images of people in provoking or obscene poses.
- Everything which is illegal.
- Any kind of discrimination. An ad which discriminates against people who use Facebook or Instagram will be banned.
- Tobacco. Ads of tobacco and tobacco-related products won’t be accepted, even if you just want to promote a blog about tobacco consumption or about how to give it up.
- Illegal or prescription drugs.
- Dangerous or unsafe food supplements.
- Adult products or services. Unless you want to advertise something related to contraception or family planning. In this case, pay less attention to sex and more attention to the features of what will be advertised.
- Content which infringes someone else’s rights. Trademark, privacy, publicity, etc.
- Shocking content. In other words, everything about violence, disrespectful behavior, and sensitive content.
- Personal characteristics. The ad must not include personal attributes such as race, age, religion, beliefs, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, health, financial information, or criminal history.
- Fake or misleading content.
- Controversial content. Avoid controversial topics such as social and political issues in the ad.
- Landing pages which don’t work. The ad mustn’t direct people to non-working landing pages.
- Spy equipment. For example, call-tracking equipment, spy cameras or other surveillance equipment.
- Ads with bad grammar or punctuation.
- False information about features. It is forbidden to include information about non-existing features in the ad.
- Health. For example, «before and after» pictures with unlikely results.
- Payday loans, paycheck advances, bail bonds, or any short-term loans intended to cover someone's expenses until their next payday.
- HYIP and MLM. Ads which promote high-yield investment programs and multi-level marketing won’t be accepted.
- Penny auctions, bidding fee auctions and anything with a similar business model.
- Fake documents. Diplomas, passports, immigration papers, etc.
- Obscene or low-quality content.
- Software which can be used for spy purposes.
- Audio and flash animation which launches itself (without interaction from the user’s side).
- Goods which promote or ease unauthorized access to digital resources.
- Circumventing systems. Do not try to cheat the Facebook verification system.
- Financial fraud.
- Follow community standards. Breaking any of Facebook or Instagram community standards is forbidden.
Restricted content is the second kind of potentially dangerous content according to Facebook guidelines. There’s a list of content which can be advertised on Facebook with some additional conditions. For example, some products or services can be advertised only with prior written permission from Facebook, promoting of others can be allowed only if the ad will be targeting people aged 18 years and older.
Find the list of restricted content with all limitations below!
Alcohol can be advertised on Facebook only if:
- the ad meets the legislation of the country it will be displayed in;
- it will be shown to the right audience (for example, age limitations will be followed).
Services which facilitate the finding of sexual partners are 100% forbidden to advertise. In other cases, the service must receive Facebook’s prior written permission and implement all the targeting guidelines.
Gambling (particularly gambling for real money) is also restricted because this type of service isn’t allowed everywhere. Thus, the advertiser must take local laws into consideration and receive prior written permission from Facebook.
Ads of governmental lotteries must meet local legislation and must target people within the jurisdiction where the lottery is running.
It is forbidden to advertise prescription drugs on Facebook. Online and offline pharmacies can be advertised only after Facebook’s prior written permission.
The only restriction regarding dietary supplements is to target the ad to people over 18 years old.
Facebook has its own Subscription Services Requirements. The advertised service must meet all the guidelines written there.
First of all, the landing page of such an ad must provide all the necessary information including information about fees. At the same time, the user mustn’t be asked to fill in private financial information (for example, their credit card number).
Branded content usage
The ad which promotes any kind of branded content must contain information about the brand and business partners etc.
The ad which promotes any kind of educational loans must be targeted to people over 18 years old.
Politics and issues of national importance
In this case, the advertiser must complete the Facebook authorization process.
Cryptocurrency and crypto-related products can be advertised only with Facebook’s prior written permission.
Same situation as cryptocurrency. Without prior written permission, alcohol and drug addiction treatment clinics cannot be advertised.
Facebook and Instagram Brand Resources Usage
In case you missed it, Instagram belongs to Facebook. WhatsApp belongs to Facebook, and many other services belong to Facebook! For each of them, Facebook developed unique brand resources which can be used when advertising on Facebook. Of course, there’s a bunch of limitations with brand resource usage. You can find it in the Facebook Brand Resource Center and the Instagram Brand Resource Center.
Ok, you launched a Facebook ad. What can you be punished for now?
Surprise! You can do something «illegal» in terms of Facebook advertisement even after the launch of the ad campaign. Let’s find out what is also restricted when advertising on Facebook.
First of all, the advertiser needs to protect the data received from advertising campaigns. It must be available ONLY for those who work on the advertiser’s behalf.
Advertising data can only be used for ad campaign analysis and only on an anonymous basis.
What you can’t use data for
The advertiser can’t use the received data for creating, editing and merging profiles to influence them or increase their number (including profiles associated with identifiers of any mobile devices, or other unique identifiers which can identify the person, type of web browser, computer, or device).
Facebook advertising data can’t be transferred to any other advertising platform or exchange.
Avoid breaking the rules mentioned above in order to not to see your account banned.
That’s it. No more rules and restrictions.
All rules, regulations, and restrictions listed above were created to make the user experience as positive as possible. Facebook screens all unethical and potentially dangerous ads out. Thus, the approved ads can be 100% trusted.
Important: passing the approval process won’t be enough to run a successful advertising campaign. All ads must be precisely tuned because the price of the mistake is rather high. And surprise, even proven PPC experts sometimes make mistakes at this stage.eLama released a set of self-developed tools for Facebook advertising campaign management. Learn more about digital marketing solutions which will save you both time and money here.