Why Did Facebook Reject Your Ad? Common Facebook Advertising Do’s and Don’ts

No one likes being rejected. That feeling of inadequacy, confusion, sadness – it’s the worst!

Of course, when Facebook is doing the rejecting, marketers risk losing revenue, engagement and growth opportunities too. While we can’t help with your personal relationships, we can help clarify why Facebook might reject your ads.

A Facebook ad rejection is frustrating, and its root cause isn’t always clear. Ad qualifications can be obvious (like avoiding implied nudity and adult content) or complicated (like avoiding copy implicating a user in any way).

Get help navigating this evolving ad channel – dive into Facebook Advertising Do’s and Don’ts!

Getting Started with Facebook Ads – The Do’s

When creating a Facebook ad, it’s critical to remember that Facebook’s algorithms prioritize user experience (UX). The same principles that apply to other customer-facing digital touchpoints need to be considered for Facebook advertising.

Is your advertisement’s intent obvious and customer value-focused? Are your images clear and mobile-optimized? Is your ad CTA compelling and easy to click? Is the ad’s landing page copy clear and concise?

Similar to how crawlers scan and index your landing pages for SEO, submitted Facebook ads go through an automated process scanning the keywords, media (image/video), and website where your ad links.

Take a look at these Ad Relevance Diagnostics to better prepare your ad for the review process.

Via Facebook’s Business Help Center.

The automated process can be a source of frustration, as Facebook may reject an ad for a specific reason that does NOT reflect the ad contents. A false rejection may be unavoidable, but you can minimize its frequency by following our favorite Do’s below!

Facebook Advertising Do’s

  • Be clear and concise about the product or business you’re advertising. It may seem obvious to you, but prospects should understand the ad at-a-glance to avoid confusion and provide transparency.
  • Keep the text to image ratio low, at under 20% text within the image. Facebook doesn’t like heavy copy overlaying images (it’s also a poor mobile experience), and excess text will lower reach within both paid and organic initiatives. Ads over the 20% rule are more costly and reach a smaller audience.
  • Think through the whole journey. The ad imagery, copy, landing page URL, and the landing page content should make sense and deliver on the ad’s promise.
  • Edit for proper grammar and avoid profanity. Avoid using all caps and write in complete sentences.
  • Ensure your target audience is clearly defined and relevant to the ad itself. We recommend A/B testing to get comfortable running ads on Facebook and see what resonates with your audience.
  • Bonus – Ads for subscription services, mobile marketing, automatic renewal, and free-to-pay conversion billing products are subject to additional requirements, such as linking directly to your privacy policies on your landing page, being very clear about service costs, and adding a Terms and Conditions checkbox within your landing page.

Following these rules of thumb should keep you out of the rejection heap. Continue to experiment to see what works best for your audience, measure the results, and tailor your strategy ongoing.

Facing Facebook Ad Rejection? The Don’ts

While Facebook ad Do’s are straightforward and tie back to common digital marketing best practices, the Don’ts are a bit more complicated.

For example, Facebook dictates ads should not contain or reference personal attributes i.e., race, ethnicity, religion, and age – not the most surprising, right? Well, Facebook further drills this down by flagging words like “you”, “your”, or “other” in reference to users’ personal demographics – a common point of confusion for marketers

Via Facebook Ads Policies.

Low quality or disruptive content in the ad or its landing page will get you on the naughty list, as well as incorporating false functionality, like images that replicate play buttons, notifications, checkboxes, or other calls-to-action that don’t work.

These distinctions may seem nuanced, but they tie back to ensuring you’re giving the best user experience. We always recommend eyeballing your ad from the lens of your customers’ UX first, then through our Do’s and Don’ts list.

A few Facebook Advertising Don’ts include:

  • Prohibited content, such as the sale of tobacco and related products, unsafe substances, and weapons.
  • Lead Ads that request sensitive information, such as financial, health, insurance, political affiliation, race, etc., must receive written permission from Facebook prior to running.
  • Using Facebook’s brand incorrectly, which could be typing “facebook” with a lowercase ‘f’. View the rest of the Facebook brand guidelines in relation to ads here.
  • Third-party infringement, like when sourcing imagery.

Additional Facebook Ad Restrictions Include:

  • Discriminatory practices based on personal attributes like race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, etc.
  • Adult products/services or content must be targeted to people 18+ years or older and must not promote sexual pleasure, rather contraception and family planning.
  • Sensational content, such as violent, shocking, or inflammatory content.
  • Misinformation is a no-brainer, but some people still need the reminder. Avoid claims that have been debunked or fact-checked and proven to be false.
  • Controversial content has become almost exclusively related to COVID-19 as of late, but relates to exploiting social or political issues for commercial purposes. Vaccine discouragement is also not allowed on Facebook.
  • Personal health, such as before and after images depicting drastic results or making negative connotations towards someone’s weight to profit.
  • Multilevel Marketing, simply put: no get-rich-quick schemes are allowed in Facebook ads.
  • Spyware/Malware placed in the links used in your Facebook ad is strictly prohibited.
  • Sale of body parts, apparently this needs to be said. Do not advertise body parts or fluids on Facebook. We repeat. Do not advertise body parts or fluids on Facebook.

Pro tip: the fastest way to get a rejected ad approved is by chatting with a live representative via the Business Help Center.

What If You Get Rejected?

Facebook will provide a broad explanation of your ad rejection, but it may be ambiguous.

For the best results, we recommend reviewing Facebook’s ad policies and familiarize yourself with common rules-of-thumb before developing an ad strategy.

If your Facebook ad was rejected and you want to file an appeal, head over to the Account Quality section on Facebook via the Business Help Center.