When you run as many Facebook Ads as our agency does, it's pretty much inevitable that you're going to end up having a few ads denied by Facebook’s system.
It can be scary and frustrating when you get an ad denied. Facebook’s system is very sensitive, with the platform increasing its focus on protecting consumers from ads that are offensive, harassing or inflammatory. And while this is a great protocol to have in place, it also means the system is more prone to being triggered by harmless ads that simply have wording that might be misconstrued by someone.
Essentially, Facebook wants you to be able to hyper-target individuals with your content, but not single them out by an identifying characteristic with your message. Kind of weird, right?
My biggest issue with this system is that when denying your ad, it doesn’t give you any kind of insight on how to fix it. If this sounds familiar, you're in luck - I did some digging and found out exactly why Facebook denies ads, along with some examples of how to fix your ads so they will be approved.
Before we dig in, it's important that you understand the policy.
“Facebook Ads must not contain content that asserts or implies personal attributes. Ads must not contain content that asserts or implies personal attributes. This includes direct or indirect assertions or implications about a person’s race, ethnic origin, religion, beliefs, age, sexual orientation or practices, gender identity, disability, medical condition (including physical or mental health), financial status, membership in a trade union, criminal record, or name.”
Super clear and straightforward, right? In case there's any confusion, here are the reasons why your Facebook Ads are getting denied:
- Approved: Meet Hispanic men online now
- Approved: Find black singles today
- Denied: Meet other black singles near you
Religion or Philosophical Beliefs
- Approved: Date Christian singles
- Approved: Looking for Buddhists near you?
- Approved: Meet Hindu singles online now
- Denied: Meet other Buddhists
- Denied: Are You Christian?
- Approved: Meet Seniors
- Approved: A service for teens
- Denied: Meet other Seniors
- Denied: Meet other Buddhists
Sexual Orientation or Sexual Behavior
- Approved: Atlantis Gay Cruises
- Approved: Gay Dance Clubs
- Approved: Gay Dating online now
- Denied: Are you gay?
- Denied: Meet other lesbians now
- Approved: Come meet transsexual singles
- Approved: A monthly meetup for trans persons and trans allies
- Denied: Questioning your gender identity?
- Denied: Meet other trans women at our monthly meetup
Disability or Medical Condition
- Approved: Bulimia counseling available
- Approved: Depression counseling
- Approved: New diabetes treatment available
- Denied: Do you have diabetes?
- Denied: Depression getting you down? Get help now.
- Denied: Treat your anxiety with these helpful meditations
Financial Status or Information
- Approved: We have financial services to cover every financial need.
- Denied: Broke? Bankrupt? Check out our services.
Membership in a Trade Union
- Approved: Be a part of our Union today
- Denied: Dislike your Union red? Join our union today!
- Approved: Services to clean up any previous offenses
- Denied: Are you a convicted felon?
- Approved: We print customizable t-shirts and sticker with your name
- Denied: Billy Taylor, get this t-shirt with your name in print
- Denied: It’s a Billy thing (if their name is Billy)
As you can see from the above examples, Facebook really doesn’t want you to use anyone’s personal traits against them in the name of business. I find that very interesting considering the level of targeting that's available.
So how can you make sure your ads get approved? Follow these guidelines:
- Avoid using the word “you” - This explicitly implies that you're trying to single the recipient of the message out
- Focus your ad content on the product or service you're trying to advertise - Talk about the benefits and value
- Avoid using the word “other” or “others” - This indirectly groups users with other users just like them
If your Facebook Ads get denied for being against the platform's advertising politics, don’t panic. Take a breath and rework your copy to ensure that you aren’t unintentionally singling out users based on personal attributes.