An often soul-sucking nuisance that gets left out of eCommerce press releases is the dreaded Facebook Ads ban. Many a dropshipper has poured hours of heart and soul into their ad campaigns, only to have Facebook slam the door in their face once they do. Considering the fact that Facebook Ads are so vital to the dropshipping journey, and the little caveat that they don’t offer you much in the way of an explanation as to the rules by which they reject ads can be frustrating, to say the least. Which is why a guide to how Facebook approves and rejects Ads, along with the cheat code ensuring you’re never rejected again is akin to the holy grail if you’ve ever encountered the problem yourself, or are in the process of formulating an ad.
The review process
On average the approval time of a Facebook Ad usually takes 24 hours to be approved, although it is common for some ads to take even longer to be approved. So patience is a virtue in this game, especially so if you’re a first-timer as far as creating ads is concerned. This is because experience in ad creations on Facebook is leveraged in approval times, with previous ad campaign experience working towards faster approval times, and a lack thereof resulting in longer waiting times for your ads to be approved.
In short- a longer account history is taken as a sign of your credibility and thus reduces your chances of having an ad rejected whilst speeding up the approval times drastically. Certain keywords act as triggers for an automatic ban, many of which should be obvious like hate speech, ethnic slurs, or words referencing ethnicity that can be misconstrued as such, so practice caution when launching an ad campaign centered around a particular ethnic group as its central theme, avoid such ads altogether if possible. Images are also a big source of ads being rejected, especially those containing nudity, graphic violence, or copyrighted material that can result in a lawsuit for the social media conglomerate.
Also, remember that Facebook accepts and rejects ads via an automated process, so even words and images suggestive of a policy violation can result in your ad being banned, an important thing to keep in mind when you’re designing your next Facebook Ad campaign.
Facebook is pretty clear on the things it does and does not permit on its ad campaigns, but we’ll list the most pertinent do’s and don’ts that you should avoid to ensure Facebook and your target audience don’t avoid you by extension:
- Violent Implements
This one should come as no surprise, but Facebook has a strict policy against the sale of weapons of any form, shape, or size. However, the caveat still exists in that you may start a group about weapons as long as it doesn’t channel or promote the sale thereof in any way.
- Unsafe supplements
The sale of supplementary items that Facebook deems unfit for human consumption is also means to have your ad banned on the social networking platform. Items such as anabolic steroids and human growth hormones are but a few of the for-sale items guaranteed to get your ad rejected.
- Adult Content
Avoid Facebook Ads if you plan on marketing a store of an adult nature. Which includes books centered around adult content, sex toys, and adult dating services, anything of a sexual nature intended for recreational purposes.
Due to the high incidence of fraud around purported cryptocurrency projects Facebook took the decision to ban all ads featuring Cryptocurrencies as of January this year.
- Tobacco and tobacco-related products
Any tobacco products or products containing tobacco are strictly prohibited on Facebook, with the exception of groups bringing together people with a similar appreciation for tobacco of course. This, unfortunately, includes vapes and eCiggarettes so it’s wise to steer clear of those should you wish to avoid being rejected by the gatekeepers of Google ad campaigns.
- Drugs or drug-related products
Facebook has a clear policy against any ads promoting either the sale or use of drugs, with the exception of anti-drug ad campaigns.
- Third-party infringement
Avoid the use of any items that may result in a copyright infringement case against you or Facebook as a company as such ads won’t even make it past the chopping block of a Facebook ad review campaign. If you hope to include any pictures, videos, or songs in your ads, ensure you source them from public domain websites. Or in the event that you do use someone else’s material in your ads, it’s wise to have written consent from that person prior to launching your ad, and share that consent with Google beforehand.
- Low-quality content
This one may be surprising but Facebook does not tolerate ads that lead people to landing pages that feature disruptive content, or unexpected content for that matter, so be wary of using clickbait titles to draw visitors to your store. They are also on the lookout for low-quality content in the form of images, articles, or videos on your landing page. Should you include such in your landing page, and get discovered you’ll most likely get your ad account disabled by Facebook alongside the rejection of your ad.
- Spyware or Malware
Ads must not contain spyware or malware in them, neither should any of the landing pages you hope to direct traffic to.
- Grammar and profanity
Ensure that all your ads are grammatically correct and punctual. Until recently Facebook would disapprove of wordy ads, but it still helps to keep things simple to be on the safe side. Also avoid the use of excessive profanities in your ads, if possible avoid the use of any vulgarities altogether. The ad review process is rather strict as far as grammar and profanity is concerned and circumventing this rule in any way will lead to your ad being canceled.
Ensure your landing page is up to standard
Although it may not be obvious to most, part of the ads review process includes a thorough inspection of the landing page you include in your Facebook ads, which is why it helps to ensure yours is up to standard with Facebook’s rules and regulations of trade as far as ads are concerned. This part of the process can also help you with the retention of traffic, as a good landing page is likely to lead to higher conversations down the line, and a bad one the converse of this with high traffic, but virtually no sales to show for it.
Always make sure the links you include in your Facebook ad campaigns take users straight to the business or product you’re marketing in the initial ad. Not doing so explicitly will lead to Facebooks review team and automated assistants viewing it as a violation of policy, and subsequently banning and rejecting your ad.
Lackluster landing page
Make sure you include some important business details on your landing page such as your business email address, relevant contact details such as phone numbers, the times at which they are operational. Don’t leave out any legal disclaimers if your store is in a position that’d require one. And make sure your page is informative, aesthetically pleasing, and your products are arranged in order, as we have it on good authority that not having this aspect of your landing page sorted can result in a possible ad rejection.
If the information and content do not live up to the contents of your ad, that is grounds for dismissal. You cannot build an ad around a bestseller in your niche, only to have the link included in your ad take you to a completely different product. Or the details on a product don’t match the description offered in your ad.
For your ads to be accepted by Facebooks review process you need to remove any content that may be disruptive to the user experience on your store’s landing page. Any malware or scripts that prevent visitors from leaving your page are guaranteed grounds for automatic rejection, even pop-up ads are grounds for dismissal, so if your store features any, make sure they are absent from the landing page you include in your ads. With the exception of pop-ups that your customers chose to click on themselves, such as one that presents itself as an information bar on your ads landing page.
Facebook also rejects ads on the basis of restricted content, which isn’t prohibited in its entirety for use in a Facebook Ad, but requires that certain conditions be fulfilled prior to you launching your ad. Or that you comply with certain laws for certain products that are advertised. These restricted items and content include:
- Online Pharmacies
Facebook does not permit the sale of prescription pharmaceuticals, and if you have a store that services the medical niche including the sale of non-prescription pharmaceuticals you need prior written consent to have your ad approved.
- Subscription services
Any ads that promote subscription services or products that employ a mode of subscription be it negative options or automatic renewals. They are subject to Facebooks subscription services requirements, and failure to comply with them results in a failure of your ad being accepted.
- Branded content
If you intend on promoting an ad that features any form of branding that is not the legal property of yourself or that you don’t own. It is required that you tag said third party brand, as this acts as a sort of confirmation that they allow you to use their branding. As this will notify them, and they can report you should your actions be in league with a case of copyright infringement. Whenever you use any form of branding in your ads that is not your own you must use the branded content tool that Facebook offers.
- Cosmetic procedures and weight loss
If you run a store that services the fashion niche, and you have any weight loss products in your inventory. You must be sure to set your target audience to people above the age of 18, as anything younger constitutes a policy violation, and will result in your ad being banned.
What can you do if your ad has been rejected?
If you ever find yourself in the precarious position of having one of your ads rejected by Facebook there are a number of measures in place that can rectify that, granted your ad campaign is worthy of such by Facebook policy standards.
You can edit, and resubmit your ad using the contents of this article to guide you. Once you’ve gone through your ad to make sure it is free of anything that may be misconstrued as a policy violation and thereby means to have your ad banned. Simply resubmit it for review. Or you can:
- Check the email address you included in your advertising account. If your ad is rejected, Facebook will send you an email with details as to why it wasn’t accepted.
- This will be useful in pointing out the errors in your ad campaign, and it will allow you to edit your ad campaign off the email, and successfully resubmit it for review.
- Once you’ve done this simply save your edited changes, and your ad will be submitted for review.
If the process of re-editing your work is too overwhelming, or it still fails in spite of this, you can request a review of the decision in Account Quality.