A common pain that most marketers come across at least once in their career is being rejected by the Facebook ad review team. We might become so focused on choosing the right images, writing amazing copy, and perfecting our targeting strategy, that we forget to consider Facebook’s ad policies.
Truthfully, ad policies are one of the things you should consider first when creating your advertisement. There’s nothing worse than spending your precious time crafting the perfect advertisement, just to see it be disapproved. So, to help you understand what you can and can’t do in your Facebook ad, keep reading!
In this article, we’ll go over:
- Overview of Facebook ad policies
- Why Facebook is rejecting your ads
- Steps to take if your ad is rejected
Overview of Facebook Ad Policies
First, we’ll give you an overview of Facebook ad policies and the ad review process.
Facebook puts ad policies in place as a guideline to follow when creating ads. Specifically, the policies determine what type of ad content Facebook allows (and doesn’t allow) in an ad. Any marketer that wants to put up an ad on Facebook will have their ad reviewed against these policies, so it’s a good idea to understand them well. You can save yourself a lot of time in the long run.
Facebook Ad Review Process
When you create and submit an ad, it will usually be reviewed by Facebook within 24 hours. They consider all aspects of your advertisement: text, images, targeting, and even the content that appears on the ad’s landing page. Something you might not have thought of, such as the full functionality of your landing page, could get your ad disapproved.
Once your ad is reviewed, whether it’s approved or disapproved, you will receive a notification. If approved, you’ll be able to access the details and results of your campaign in the Ads Manager. However, if rejected, Facebook won’t leave you hanging. They’ll let you know why your ad was disapproved.
In the unfortunate case that Facebook rejects your ad, don’t worry too much. You can still edit it according to Facebook’s feedback, then resubmit it for another review.
Why Facebook is rejecting your ads
There are a number of reasons that Facebook might disapprove your ad. We’ll go over the most commons ones in this section.
1. Your ad violates Community Standards
If you didn’t already know, Facebook has their own set of Community Standards that outline what is and isn’t allowed on the whole website. The standards are generated from a mixture of community feedback and expert advice, so Facebook takes them very seriously.
There are a number of things that could cause your ad to violate Community Standards. A lot of them, you should already know to avoid. But we’ll mention them anyways.
Your ad can’t encourage, threaten, or incite violence in any way. Props, such as guns, or services that relate to violence will be flagged by the Facebook review team.
Additionally, Facebook rejects ads mentioning dangerous organizations or individuals involved in violence. This includes terrorist groups, organized hate groups, or human trafficking groups.
Suicide and Self-Injury
These are very important subjects that can be discussed in safe environments. But Facebook will reject ads that encourage suicide and/or self-injury in any way.
Bullying and Harassment
Similarly, Facebook will reject any material that encourages bullying and harassment. This includes any content that degrades or shames, releases personal information, or attacks an individual.
Any ad that uses hate speech (i.e. a direct attack on an individual or group based on certain characteristics) will result in Facebook’s disapproval.
We recommend taking a look at the full document on Facebook’s website to make sure you are not violating any Community Standards. If you’re advertising on Instagram, you’ll want to take a look at the Instagram Community Guidelines.
2. Your ad includes prohibited content
Facebook has a long list of prohibited content, and using any of them in your ad will result in disapproval. Here are a few examples:
Tobacco and Related Products
Any depiction of tobacco or tobacco-related products is prohibited on Facebook. Facebook defines “tobacco-related products” as electronic cigarettes, vaporizers, and all other products that simulate smoking.
Facebook won’t allow ads that contain adult content. This includes any depictions of nudity, sexually suggestive or explicit content, or activities that imply sexual activity. This also includes excessive visible skin or cleavage.
Weapons, Ammunition, or Explosives
Facebook strictly forbids ads including any of the above-mentioned things. This ties back to their Community Standard on violence. They won’t allow ads that promote products intended to hurt people. Keeping the peace, one ad at a time.
Facebook will reject ads that have untrue claims. Typically, violating this ad policy means you’ve included a claim that has been debunked by third-party fact checkers or experts. So, make sure you double-check your information.
Profanity or Bad Grammar
Believe it or not, Facebook will reject your ad for bad grammar and/or punctuation. Make sure you are using proper punctuation, flawless grammar, and zero profanity in your ad. English class is going to come in handy, now!
Facebook won’t allow ads that promote any short-term loans. By Facebook definition, a short-term loan is a loan of 90 days or less.
Spyware or Malware
Everyone hates viruses, including Facebook. They won’t allow ads that contain spyware, malware, or any deceitful software. This includes your ad landing page. Make sure your site doesn’t have content related to spyware or malware of any kind.
Sale of Body Parts
Facebook strictly prohibits ads that promote human body part/fluid sales. We don’t think this one needs any further explaining. 😬
If you’ve checked to make sure that your ad doesn’t have any prohibited content, then you might have an issue with restricted content. We’ll cover this next.
3. Your ad includes restricted content
So, what is the difference between prohibited and restricted content? Well, the latter is content that may be allowed under certain conditions. Each subject has its own specific conditions that you’ll have to read up on. We’ve outlined some examples of restricted content below:
In some countries, ads that promote or mention alcohol are strictly prohibited. For a list of those countries, click here.
However, in other countries, ads that use alcohol with compliance to local laws, industry codes, guidelines, and licenses and approvals can be approved. Facebook will also consider your targeting to make sure that you are promoting to the proper age groups.
Online Gambling and Gaming
Marketers need permission from Facebook to advertise online gambling and gaming. According to Facebook, this includes betting, lotteries, raffles, fantasy sports, poker, and sweepstakes.
Cryptocurrency is a huge topic on the online world today. But Facebook requires prior written permission for cryptocurrency ads. For full details on the requirements for cryptocurrency ads, click this link.
4. Your ad’s landing page is non-functional
Actually, non-functional landing pages are part of Facebook’s list of prohibited content. But we think they’re so important that we decided to give landing pages their own section.
When users click on your ad, the landing page the ad directs to must be fully functional. There are a number of things that might deem your landing page non-functional:
- A user is unable to navigate away from the landing page
- PDF or JPEG landing pages
- Automatic downloads as a landing page
- Pages that read “error” or “under construction”
- Landing pages that don’t relate to the product/service mentioned in the ad
- Low Web of Trust ratings
We can’t stress enough the importance of having a functional landing page. The whole goal of your ad is to get people to click on it. So, you want the landing page that users see after clicking your ad to be impeccable. Make sure your ad’s landing page is relevant and functional to ensure you pass this part of the review process.
5. You aren’t targeting fairly
This is another example of a reason Facebook could reject your ad. Your targeting strategies should not discriminate against any users. You also can’t harass or provoke certain users with your targeting options. An example of this type of targeting might be choosing a specific race to promote your product to.
In addition to targeting, Facebook also has rules for customer audiences. You’ve probably used, or at least, heard of custom audiences while using Facebook Ads. They are actually an amazing tool to use when advertising on Facebook. If you use them, or are thinking of using them, Facebook also has specific guidelines for creating these types of audiences. To read up on the terms for creating custom audiences, check out Facebook’s article here.
Steps to take if your ad is rejected
If your ad is disapproved by Facebook, don’t be too disappointed. Facebook believes in second chances, so you’ll get to resubmit your ad after some tweaking and adjusting.
There’s really only one big step to take if your ad is rejected: edit, edit, edit.
Once you are notified by Facebook that your ad has been disapproved, check your email to find out why. Facebook sends a detailed email to the submitter whenever they disapprove an ad. If you can’t locate this email, make sure the email address associated with your advertising account is correct.
After reading the details from Facebook, edit your ad accordingly. You can change images, text, or video content. You can also rewrite the copy. Basically, make sure you understand which part of your ad was disapproved (by referring to our above examples, or the complete Facebook Advertising Policies) and edit it to make it compliant.
Then, save your changes. Upon saving, the edited ad will be resubmitted for review.
Perfecting Facebook ads takes a lot of hard work. Not only do you have to worry about content and copy, but ad policies as well. But if you comply with Facebook ad policies, then ad approval should be an easy step.
If you’re struggling with passing the ad review process, why not turn to an expert? Here at SH1FT, we live and breathe Facebook Ads. We’ve dealt with ad policies for years and can help you pass the review process quickly. To find out more about how we can help you with your Facebook ads, click on the button below.