Facebook Ad Law & Order | What’s Allowed and What Could Get You Locked Up

Nov 2017

Facebook Ad Law & Order | What’s Allowed and What Could Get You Locked UpIn the online world, Facebook is both judge and jury. In any case, it’s Facebook’s world, and we’re just living in it. This gives Facebook the power to decide what you can and cannot post on the platform. The rules get even more strict when it comes to Facebook advertising. Play by the rules, and you should have no problem marketing your business and reaping the benefits of your ads. Bend the rules, and you could run the risk of getting banned from Facebook advertising forever. So what do the rules and regulations of Facebook Ads look like?


What you Say Matters 

One of the simplest ways your ad could potentially get disapproved is because of the wording you are using in your copy. You may not think you are breaking any of Facebook’s ad policies, but what you say, and the way you say it matters. In your Facebook ad, you cannot use any vulgar or inappropriate language. When creating your ad, you will be targeting your specific audience through Facebook’s ad targeting feature. However, you are not allowed to assume you know specifics about the audience in your ad copy. For example, when writing an ad geared towards college students, wording such as “Are you between the ages of 18 and 22 and looking for a part-time job?” could get your ad disapproved because you are assuming you know the specific ages of the ad recipient. Save the specifics for your ad targeting and instead try something like, “A part-time job helps college students earn the money they need.” The wording you use in your ads should never be deceptive and should never imply that an audience characteristic you are targeting is negative or undesirable.


Creative Restrictions

The rules implemented for ad copy are also reflected in Facebook’s regulations on creative. First and foremost, never use photos or graphics in a Facebook ad in which you do not own the rights. You are allowed to use Facebook logos in your ad, but you must use the most up-to-date version of the logo. Any stock images you wish to use must be purchased, or selected from the Facebook photo collection provided. Similar to the rules for ad copy, Facebook prohibits any graphic or inappropriate photos to be used in advertising campaigns. Photos that are used for “shock value” or “scare tactics” could be disapproved or marked as spam by Facebook users. The photo you select cannot mislead or deceive the audience, and cannot make the audience feel negative about themselves. Facebook is especially strict with before and after photos or weight loss images used in ads. Finally, Facebook’s automated approval system does not permit large amounts of text in your ad photo. Less than 20% is allowed, but could still affect the overall reach of your ad once approved.


Targeting Right 

Many of Facebook’s regulations on ad target are industry specific, but there are a few industries whose rules are stricter than others. If you are using alcohol or tobacco in your ad copy or creative, you must set your targeting age to meet the minimum age to use the substance in the country your ad will be served to. Do specific research on the laws of the country to avoid your ad getting disapproved. Health and fitness and financial service industry’s must only target Facebook users 18 years or older. Paired with the rules for copy and creative, these specifics could make the difference between a successful ad campaign and a disapproved one.


For most markets, Facebook’s ad policies are easy to meet and won’t cause much trouble getting an ad approved. If your ad happens to get disapproved, Facebook will help shed light on the error you made and allow you to reapply for approval. Too many disapprovals or ads marked as spam, and you run the risk of losing Facebook advertising privileges. But don’t worry. If you are aware of the requirements and abide by the rules, you can have your ad approved and running in no time. For more information on Facebook ads and social media marketing, check out the KWSM daily blog here.

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