You finally finished your ad. You put a lot of blood, sweat and coffee into it and you’re feeling proud. You submit it to Facebook — only for them to notify you that the creative you’ve invested so much hard work into (and likely a decent chunk of your social media budget) hasn’t been approved
Don’t fret — it’s happened to all of us at least once.
When Facebook disapproves your ad, you need to figure out the exact reasons why it was denied.
If you’re lucky, it’ll be a quick fix — in which case you can edit your ad and get a Facebook-approved one in front of your target audience.
Even if your ad can’t be fixed immediately, you need to know why Facebook didn’t approve your ad — and what you can do to prevent your ad from getting caught up in their moderation filter in the future.
Reason #1: You Use The Word “Facebook”
Your ad should not include the word “Facebook,” as it could potentially imply that you are part of their organization.
It also misuses the reputation of the Facebook brand to make your business look better. After all, you’re just paying them to run an ad — they aren’t endorsing your product at all. To prevent your ad from being disapproved for this reason, keep the word “Facebook” out of all of your text.
Reason #2: You’re Promoting Coin Offerings
Facebook’s Advertising Policies list all of the products or services they prohibit. This list includes the promotion of coin offerings.
Coin offerings — which are a sort of type of crowdfunding that uses cryptocurrencies — while not inherently malicious, have been used in the past to scam users out of their money. In general, Facebook isn't a fan of crypto-related businesses, as they often come with headaches that they just aren't willing to deal with.
If your ad is promoting a coin offering, it almost certainly won't get approved — and even if it does, it won't last long.
Reason #3: Your Facebook Ad Is Politically Divisive
Facebook has been the focus of intense scrutiny for being misused to promote political agendas during the 2016 US Presidential Election.
First, it was discovered that Russian troll accounts used the platform to distribute politically divisive ads. It was then discovered that Cambridge Analytica, a political data firm, deceptively harvested information from over 80 million Facebook profiles in order to target users with divisive political ads.
As Facebook isn’t eager to receive even more negative attention, they’ve been trying to mitigate political abuse of their platform. This means that you should avoid using Facebook to promote political divisive content — especially if it targets inflammatory issues like abortion or gun rights.
Reason #4: Your Image Has too Much Text
While you might be tempted to include a lot of text in your image in order to squeeze in as much copy as possible, Facebook likely won’t be a fan. Facebook dictates that only 20 percent of your image is allowed to contain text — and no more.
Go over that percentage, and Facebook won’t approve your ad.
Reason #5: You Promise Unrealistic Results
Facebook wants your ad to be truthful — if you're lying to their users, or you're promising unrealistic results, your ad will not be approved.
If you market weight loss products or services, for example, don’t exaggerate results in your ad. Don’t promise your audience that they will lose 20 pounds in a week if they use your product when you know that’s unlikely.
Reason #6: Your Landing Page Doesn’t Work
When a user clicks on your ad, they should be directed to a fully functional landing page. A landing page that doesn’t function well gives users a bad experience, which will make Facebook disapprove your ad.
Examples of a nonfunctional landing page include menu navigation that doesn’t accurately direct users to the right pages (e.g., “Contact Us” takes them to your online store), pages that don’t load quickly, or video that doesn’t play.
You or your web developer should review your landing page to make sure it is easy to navigate and that it is functioning properly.
Reason #7: Your Facebook Ad Is Clickbait
Clickbait is something that everyone on social media is familiar with — a catchy headline will often make a bizarre claim in order to get a click. “5 Foods That Will Kill You Today,” “Six Celebrities Caught Naked!” and “You Won’t Believe What This Politician Did!” are all examples of clickbait.
Not only is clickbait widely disliked, it’s also associated with fake news — after all, not only are these sites usually using misleading copy, they often redirect to websites that have nothing to do with the headline.
Clickbait is bad news — and Facebook won’t approve your ad if they think your ad fits into this particular category.
Reason #8: Your Ad Mimics Facebook Features
Much like the first reason on our list, if you are mimicking Facebook’s design, then either you’re trying to imply you’re part of the company or you’re trying to fool users into clicking your link (or, likely, both).
When coming up with creative, make sure it accurately reflects the attributes of your business and doesn’t copy Facebook’s UX/UI design just to generate interest. Otherwise, Facebook will disapprove your ad.
Reason #9: Your Copy Makes Assumptions About Users
Copy that makes assumptions about your prospective users is dangerous in Facebook’s eyes. Not only could you potentially be offending someone, but you might be endangering them.
An example of this would be a dating ad that specifically targets gay men. If your copy says something along the lines of, “Meet Single Men in Your Area,” you might be outing someone who would prefer to keep their sexual orientation private.
For that reason, Facebook isn’t a fan of ads that make assumptions about their users (and your potential customers).
Reason #10: Your Images Suggest Sexual Activity
Facebook is used by a wide range of users — including children.
Recognizing this fact, Facebook tries its hardest to remain a family-friendly space. Ads that contain sexual innuendo or images suggesting sexual activity are considered inappropriate or offensive and will be disapproved.
If your ad contains images that imply sexual activity, consider adjusting the creative.
What to Do When Facebook Disapproves Your Ad
If Facebook disapproves your ad, you may not necessarily need to throw it out altogether.
Facebook gives you two options if your ad is disapproved:
- Edit your ad.
- Appeal Facebook’s disapproval decision.
If you choose the first option, you must do three things:
- Read the email that Facebook sent to your advertising account explaining why it disapproved your ad.
- Edit your ad per the instructions Facebook provides in the email. For example, you may be required to reduce the amount of text in your image to adhere to the 20 percent rule.
- Save your changes and resubmit your ad.
If you choose the second option, you must complete an Appeal a Decision form.
Understand that you are requesting Facebook review your ad again to reconsider its disapproval decision. This option is suitable if Facebook’s initial reasoning isn’t entirely clear or doesn’t line up with the platform’s Advertising Policies.
Don’t let frustration prevent you from advertising on Facebook.
If your ad isn't approved, simply adjust it to fit into their Advertising Policies. Having your ad disapproved should never be a reason for you to get discouraged!