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Why did Facebook block my ad? How to advertise on Meta and not get banned by mistake

Before running ads, Instagram and Facebook review them. If they think something’s wrong, they can ban these ads, as well as the accounts publishing them — sometimes forever.


Once at least one ad is blocked, the moderators of these platforms will start to pay closer attention to its advertiser. The ad approval will take longer, suspensions may happen more often, and even normal promo posts may not make it through.


What’s good for Netflix may be bad for Facebook


Forbidding nudity, sexually provocative pictures, and any other content that focuses on physical pleasures sounds like a no-brainer for platforms like Facebook. But at the same time, it means SexTech startups and companies selling dame products can’t advertise there — the platform won’t let their ads through.


Content depicting child or adult exploitation, bullying, harassment or violence will be banned too. Even a picture of a child in a baby food ad can be perceived by Meta as sensitive content.


Meta also bans ads that include sensational content aiming to shock, scare or disgust; graphic violence, torture and firearms (hi, Netflix!). That’s why advertisers must tread carefully trying to spice up their ads. What is common in a movie may be blocked by Meta.

​Original source: Meta Advertising Standards


Wrong links may spoil Meta’s mood


“Make $20,000 a month, lose 5% of your body weight in a week, and become a YouTube star!” Spam messages like these, as well as fake news and conspiracy theories, are flagged by Meta as misleading. Broken links also fall into that category.


Facebook and Instagram can block an ad if it promotes horseshoes, but its link sends the reader to a website selling cats’ hats.


Advice from Captain Obvious


No stolen content in ads.


But seriously! One of the most popular reasons for Meta to ban ads is copyright infringement. A screenshot from a movie or a celebrity picture used without their permission will send the ad to the ban list.


Ads with fictional Disney or Pixar characters will also be blocked (maybe along with the Facebook Ad Account that published it).


Advertisement got blocked?


Missteps happen. What should one do if the ad was blocked?


1. Review the ad and identify the policy violation.

2. Edit or delete it. Changing just one word or a little detail may help. But it’s better to delete the ad if there’s no certainty about how to edit it to avoid the ban.

3. Don’t run the rejected ad again.


If the ad fully complies with Meta policies and still got blocked by mistake, there’s a way to appeal via Appeal Button or Advertising Support Chat. One appeal per ad is enough.

​For companies often running ads on Facebook and Instagram, it’s better to hire a separate specialist (or a team) who’d make sure ads are compliant with Meta policies. This will save time and money.

The story is based on a lecture given by Sofiia Shiliak, Сompliance Team Lead at Genesis.


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Cover photo by Sunguk Kim on Unsplash

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