Facebook Advertising Policies (2022): All You Need To Know

Facebook is one of the most widely used advertising platforms in the world.

Thanks to its massive user base, brands leverage the variety of audience segments to market their products and run potential customers through sales funnels.

The social media giant understands this and hence has done an incredible job in providing a solid advertising platform to businesses and individuals looking to expand their service to the world.

Facebook’s advertising platform is a powerful tool that offers a plethora of filters, and settings to customize Ad campaigns around a desired result.

Businesses can create advertisements with self-made creatives, target specific audience segments based on many parameters, and track the performance of campaigns and individual advertisements to learn crucial insights.

There’s a lot to love about the seamless process of advertising and generating results to drive your business forward with Facebook Ads.

While most brands around the world hit their goals using Facebook Ads, some of them get rejected.

This Is because Facebook wants to create a secure environment for every user on the platform, and hence the company has set some advertising policies.

Every business or individual who intends to advertise on Facebook needs to follow the policies.

Imagine, putting hours into creating the best advertisement copy for your next campaign only to get stuck in the review process or rejected by Facebook.

This would not only waste the time and resources, but if your ads get rejected consistently, Facebook might label you as a scam or consider all the future advertisements violating the rules.

Hence, it’s critical to understand all the advertising policies instituted by Facebook before creating Ads for your business.

In this article, we’ll go through all the advertising policies and discuss how each of them affects your advertisements.

Let’s get started…

Facebook Ad Review Process

Well, the advertising policies shape the way marketers create advertisements, and it’s critical to understand them to stay out of trouble.

But you must also know how Facebook’s Ad review process works.

This’ll give you a better understanding of what’s happening behind the scenes. 

The Ad review process comprises of three steps:

1. In the first step, you either edit an existing advertisement or submit a new one for review.

2. The second step involves Facebook reviewing your edited/new advertisement.

3. Ultimately, in the third step, Facebook either approves or rejects the advertisement.

If your Ads get approved, Facebook will auto-publish them and inform you with an email notification, and you can immediately track them to see the results while if the advertisement gets rejected, you’ll receive a notification about the same.

Most people think editing an existing advertisement doesn’t trigger the Ad review process.

Well, this isn’t true because if you introduce changes to an existing advertisement, Facebook reviews it immediately.

So, what changes trigger the review process? 

If you change the creatives like the images, text, videos, and links.

Resetting the target audience, choosing new optimizing goals or billing events also trigger the review process.

When Facebook is reviewing your advertisement, it will have the status of “In review.”

In the review process, Facebook checks whether the advertisement under review violates any of the Advertising Policies.

The company also informs, advertisements that are already running also get reviewed any time to check for proper conduct.

Hence, to avoid getting rejected in the beginning or at a later time when your Ads are performing excellently, you must make sure all the advertisements strictly follow the advertising policies.

Facebook’s Advertising policies

Facebook’s Ad review process involves checking for Advertising policy violations.

This means Facebook goes through different aspects of your Ad copy like images, videos, text, landing page, links, etc.

The policies instituted by Facebook cover many parameters like discrimination, marketing activities, community standard policies, prohibited content, restricted content and more.

Let’s discuss the policies under each of these parameters.

Prohibited Content on Facebook Ads

Facebook has created a list of prohibited content you must avoid using in your advertisement copy.

This Is because if you use any of the listed content, Facebook will reject your advertisements.

Tobacco and related products

You must avoid creating advertisements that promote the sale or use of tobacco products and related paraphernalia.

This also includes promotion of products that entice users’ to smoke, like electronic cigarettes, and vaporisers.

Adult products or services

Facebook discourages the promotion of adult services and products through advertisements.

But if you are promoting sexual and reproductive health products like contraception and family planning, you must target the audience 18 years of age or older.

Unsafe substances

You mustn’t create advertisements that promote the use or sale of unsafe substances like recreational drugs, supplements or any kind of illicit substance as determined by Facebook in its sole discretion.

Weapons, ammo, or explosives

Your advertisements can’t promote any types of weapons, ammunition, or explosives including weapon modification accessories.

Illegal products or services

Facebook is strict about the promotion of illegal products or services on its platform.

This includes products and activities that exploit, entice, exert undue pressure on minors or inappropriate age groups.

Discriminatory practices

You can’t promote discriminatory practices through advertisements on Facebook.

In simple words, your advertisements mustn’t promote or encourage discrimination against people based on race, ethnicity, colour, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, family status, disability, medical or genetic condition.

Adult content and sensational content

Your Ads mustn’t contain adult content like nudity, depictions of people in explicit or suggestive positions, or activities that are overly suggestive or sexually provocative.

You must also avoid using excessively violent sensational content.

Personal attributes and third-party infringements

Facebook discourages the use of personal attributes in advertisements like assertions or implications about a person’s race, ethnicity, religion, beliefs, age, sexual orientation or practices, gender identity, disability, physical or mental health.

You must also avoid content that violates the rights of any third party, including copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity or other personal or proprietary rights.

Misinformation and Nonexistent functionality

You mustn’t promote misinformation through advertisements and avoid images that portray non-existent functionality like imagery that replicates play buttons, notifications, or checkboxes that don’t work.

Non-functional landing page and Grammar and profanity

Non-functional landing page means landing pages that restrict users from getting away from the page.

You mustn’t include such landing pages in your advertisements. Facebook also checks for poor grammar and punctuation.

Cheating and deceitful practices and Personal health

You must avoid promoting activities that urge users to get involved in deceitful practices.

Facebook also checks for advertisements that generate negative self-perception to promote diet, weight loss or other health-related products.

Multilevel marketing and Prohibited financial products and services

Facebook says advertisements offering income opportunities must reveal everything about the product, and business model.

Such Ads must avoid enticing users to make investments to get quick compensations.

This also includes prohibited financial products and services that mislead or encourage deceptive promotional practices.

Spyware or malware and Vaccine discouragement

Advertisements mustn’t promote Spyware or malware of any kind that result in a deceptive experience.

This includes links that contain such products.

You must also avoid using content that discourages vaccination or advocates against vaccines.

Payday loans, payslip advances and bail bonds & penny auctions

You mustn’t create Ads that promote payday loans, payslip advances and bail bonds to help users cover expenses until the next payday.

For instance, a loan for 90 days or fewer.

Facebook also discourages content with business models promoting penny auctions, and bidding fee auctions.

Inflammatory content and Sale of body parts

Your Ads can get rejected if you use inflammatory content in your advertisements.

This includes making claims about a group or individual that they are a threat to the society, dehumanizing speeches, and statements of inferiority.

You must also avoid Ads that promote the sale of human body parts or fluids.

Disruptive content

If you are directing your audience to a landing page, then the destination page must have relevant information as promised in the advertisement.

This means if your advertisement entices people to click on a link that’ll take them to a webpage on Mexican Rice recipes, then it must do so.

But if the advertisement leads people to a landing page that contains minimal original content, Facebook might reject the advertisement.

Unacceptable business practices

You must avoid creating advertisements that promote products, services, or schemes that scam people of their money or personal information by misleading them to complete an action.

Circumventing systems and Misleading claims

You must never use tactics to circumvent Facebook’s Ad review process by disguising the Ad’s content or destination page.

You also must avoid using advertisements that promote unrealistic expectations through misleading claims.

Before and after photos

Facebook doesn’t allow advertisers to use images comparing the effects of a product on someone’s appearance.

Restricted Content on Facebook Ads

Now you know all the content Facebook has prohibited on the platform.

But there’s another list of restricted content you must take care of before using in advertisements. Let’s go through the list.

Dating & Alcohol

You can only promote dating services with proper persimmon from Facebook.

This also includes adhering to the dating targeting requirements and Facebook’s dating Ad guidelines.

If you are promoting alcohol, then any reference must comply with the laws of the state and age and country targeting criteria as per Facebook’s targeting requirements.

Online gambling and gaming

If you are promoting online gambling or games that involve winning monetary prizes or monetary value forms part of the prize, then you must take appropriate written permissions from Facebook before creating such advertisements.

You must also follow all the legal rules.

Promotion of online pharmacies and over-the-counter drugs

Facebook permits the promotion of online pharmacies through advertisements to users who have a LegitScript certification and a prior written permission.

But if you want to promote over-the-counter drugs, then you must follow all the local laws along with the industry codes, guidelines, licenses, and approvals.

Financial and insurance products and services

You must provide sufficient disclosure while promoting financial and insurance products and services like credit cards.

This includes transparency on the associated fees, including APR percentages, transaction fees, interest rates and the physical address of the entity offering the product within the ad’s landing page.

You must also make sure the target audience is 18 or older and avoid direct requests to users’ to provide personal financial Information.

Subscription services and Branded content

All subscription services that include automatic renewal, free-to-pay conversion billing products and mobile marketing must follow Facebook’s subscription services requirements.

If you’re promoting someone’s content, then you must tag the brand or individual using the branded content tool.

Ads about social issues, elections, or politics

Facebook has a set of laws and an authorisation process that you must comply with if you want to run ads for social issues, elections, or politics.

The company also says that they can restrict such ads any time, and they prohibit the Ads in specific regions ahead of voting.

Disclaimers for ads about social issues, elections, or politics

You can submit disclaimers for ads about social issues, elections, or politics to Facebook, only if the Ad authorisation process is available in your country, and you comply with the Community Standards and Advertising Policies.

Drug and alcohol addiction treatment

Advertisers promoting addiction treatments like clinical addiction treatment services or websites providing information about in-person treatment, must have a LegitScript certification along with Facebook’s permission.

Cryptocurrency products and services

If you want to promote cryptocurrency products and services through Ads, then you must get written permission from Facebook.

This includes Ads promoting crypto trading platforms, and products enabling monetisation, reselling, swapping or staking of cryptocurrencies.

Cosmetic procedures and wellness

You can use advertisements for marketing weight loss products and services, cosmetic surgeries and procedures and dietary, health or herbal supplements, only if your targeted audience is 18 years of age or older.

Social casino games

Facebook allows advertisements for social casino games that promote casino gambling with no opportunity to win, only if your targeted audience is 18 years of age or older.

Promotion of prescription drugs

If you are an online pharmacy, Telehealth provider or a pharmaceutical manufacturer, then you must get permission from Facebook for advertising on the same.

Policies for using Brand assets

Every so often, you might need to use Facebook’s assets in your advertisements. Well, Facebook doesn’t give you the complete freedom to use its assets. They have few policies you have to follow to use their brand assets.

Brand endorsement

Any advertisement you post on the platform mustn’t imply a partnership with Facebook or any of Facebook’s brands.

This also includes promotion of any kind of endorsement by any other Facebook brand.

Brand usage in ads

Say you are using an ad copy with a reference to Facebook or Instagram like some pages, sites that use Facebook, and more.

In such cases, Facebook allows you to make limited references only to specify the destination of the advertisement.

You must also avoid using Facebook or its brand’s prominent features to highlight your services, nor should you change the features like changing the color of the logo or adding special effects.

Copyrights and trademarks

You should never direct your audience to a landing page that uses Facebook’s copyrights, trademarks or any confusingly similar marks.

Facebook checks the landing pages of Ads to make sure you aren’t violating this policy. But you may use the copyrights only if Facebook has permitted you to do so.

User interface screenshots

You might come across a situation where you need to use some UI screenshots of Facebook or its brands in your advertisements.

Well, Facebook allows you to use the screenshots with a few rules. You can neither change the UI in any manner. For instance, you can’t add special effects, interference, or animation, nor can you use the Glyphs or elements of the UI separately.

You also need to make sure any UI screenshot you are using is depicting the exact functions of the current product.

For example, you can’t use a screenshot of Facebook’s login page depicting the page allows you to search for friends.

Conclusion

There you have it. Now you know how the Facebook Ad review process works and why it’s important for your business. You also know the advertising policies under restricted content, prohibited content and brand asset usage. If you follow all the policies strictly, Facebook will never reject your advertisements during the review process. But you must remember, Facebook constantly updates its advertising policies, hence monitor it.

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Paco Vermeulen

Paco Vermeulen is a Facebook advertising expert, with over 8 years of experience. Prior to starting his entrepreneurial journey he gained experience as a digital marketer, growth marketer and CMO. He is a MSc Marketing graduate from VU University Amsterdam.

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