Facebook Advertising Guidelines: The Complete Guide

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You don't want to read them, but you need to know them... If you need to quickly understand the most important Facebook advertising guidelines, read this!

Table of Contents

There are many rules to be aware of when advertising on Facebook – this is what we call the Facebook advertising guidelines.

If you are not super excited about reading rules, well…You’d wish there weren’t so many! But unfortunately, there are…

It’s a good thing uncle Badis is here though.

I am going to make the job easier for you.

In this guide, I will take you through these rules quickly.

Otherwise, you can also check out the Facebook advertising guidelines on this website for a more detailed version.

Keep in mind that these rules can change. And keep in mind that even though complying with them can be frustrating at times, these rules were designed to prevent certain abuses. And it’s good they exist for a network that size.

General Facebook Advertising Guidelines

1. Sexually suggestive content 👅

Yes, I am going to start with this :). Ads that include adult content with nudity or people in explicit/suggestive positions are not okay.

2. You cannot advertise anything with personal attributes. 👤

Ads must not include any content that claims or even implies (!) personal attributes such as a person’s group or ethnic origin, religion, beliefs, age, sexual orientation or practices, gender identity, disability, health (physical or mental), financial status, union membership, criminal record or name, etc…

This means that you can title your ad like this: “Meet Single People”, however, you cannot say “Meet other Single People”.

It implies that you know personal information about the ad viewer’s personal attribute. [Well guidelines aside, you know a lot about the personal life of your audience, otherwise, you wouldn’t be advertising on Facebook. It’s just that Facebook doesn’t want you to remind their audience maybe…]

3. Use of the Facebook brand 🔵

Ads leading to Facebook or Instagram content (including pages, groups, events or sites that use the Facebook connection) should include only a limited reference to “Facebook” or “Instagram” in the ad text to clarify the ad destination. To say things more clearly, you cannot make your Ad look like it’s coming from Facebook HQ.

You cannot use the official Facebook logo in an ad. Also, you cannot alter in any way Facebook Brand elements by changing the design or color. You should always capitalize the word “Facebook”.

4. Use of text in your ad’s image ✍️

This is one of the most well-known Facebook advertising guidelines.

Let’s just say that Facebook doesn’t like text in your ad’s image. If there is too much text it may not be displayed by Facebook at all. Whenever possible, try to use little or no text in your images.

Facebook has a free tool here to check how much text is in your image.

5. The list of prohibited advertising content [The big no-no list] ⛔️

Any ad including these types of content will not be displayed by Facebook:

Violations of Facebook community standards
Illegal products or services
Discriminatory practices
Drugs and drug-related products
Dangerous supplements
Weapons, ammunition or explosives
Products or services for adults
Adult Content
Damage to a third party
Shocking content
Personal Attributes
Misleading or erroneous content
Controversial content
Links to non-functional landing pages
Monitoring equipment
Grammar errors, incorrect punctuation or coarseness
Personal health and before/after pictures
Payday loans, cash advances, and guarantees
Multi-level marketing
Penny Auction
Forged documents
Poor quality or disruptive content
Spyware or malware
Automatic animation
Unauthorized broadcasting devices
Bypass systems
Prohibited financial products and services

To learn more about these restricted topics, you can visit the Facebook policy website.

6. The list of restricted advertising content [The maybe no-no list] ❗️

Ads that include these types of content may have display restrictions or not be displayed at all, at Facebook’s discretion, of course:

Love dating
Genuine gambling
National Lotteries
Online Pharmacies
Subscription Services
Financial Services
Branded content
Student Loan Services
Policies or issues of national importance
“Funded by” clauses
Cryptographic products and services
Alcohol and drug treatment centers

To learn more about these topics, please visit the Facebook policy website by clicking here.

7. Respectful advertising targeting 😇

Advertising targeting and audience segmentation must not be used to discriminate, harass, provoke or disparage users or to engage in predatory advertising practices. If your advertisements target personalized audiences, you must adhere to the applicable terms and conditions when establishing an audience.

8. Relevance and accuracy of advertising 🎯

Relevance: All elements of the advertisement, including text, images or other media, must be relevant and appropriate to the product or service being offered and to the audience that sees the advertisement.

Accuracy: Advertisements must clearly represent the company, product, service or brand that is the subject of the advertisement.

9. Landing Pages Linked 🚦

It’s important to remember but the Facebook advertising guidelines extend to the landing page you are sending users.

The products and services mentioned in the text of an advertisement must correspond to those highlighted on the landing page, and the destination site must not offer or be linked to a prohibited product or service.

Facebook Advertising Guidelines and Specs For Media

Facebook has a lot of specs and guidelines for your images and videos depending on the ad format you are using and its placement.

The best resource to find all this information is the ads guide on the Facebook website.

screenshot of the webpage ads guide by facebook to get facebook advertising guidelines
Screenshot of the ads guide website

I am not going to copy-paste the specs here because this Facebook website is very well done and it will be better-presented than there.

You can get the specs for video ads, image ads, carousel ads, collection ads, slideshow ads, and instant experience ads.

Just click on the first link:

screenshot of the webpage ads guide by facebook to get facebook advertising guidelines

Once you have clicked, you will be sent to a new page. On that page, you will be able to choose the ad placement you want and have the exacts specs required. 👇

screenshot of the webpage ads guide by facebook where you can find ad specs by placement for every ad format

What to do when your ad is blocked

Here is a quick checklist of what you can do:

1. Check that you have not advertised something prohibited ⛔️

2. Check that you have not advertised something restricted ❗️

3. Check your creative 🚦

4. Check your landing page 😇

5. Check you have respected the general guidelines listed above. ✅

6. If you check all this and still haven’t understood why your ad is blocked. You can either contact Facebook support but their answer will take time and won’t necessarily help you. In that case, my advice would be to change your ad and try again. I know it sucks but that’s just what I usually do.

Facebook advertising guidelines: what to do when your account is deactivated?

If your Facebook advertising account has been deactivated and you don’t know what to do 😱 – here is how you should proceed.

1) Go through the support center

When your ad account is deactivated, Facebook invites you to click on the “contact us” link to appeal the account deactivation if you believe it was an error.

The problem is this process can take a lot of time [several days to weeks].

If you want to accelerate the process, there seems to be a faster way.

2) Go on Messenger

You can go straight to Messenger chat support and avoid waiting.

You can go to https://www.facebook.com/business/help and look for this: 👇

screenshot of the menu to access messenger support

⚠️Important: Messenger support is not available to everyone. Some companies can see this option some others can’t. Facebook did not give specifics about to whom it is available and why. ⚠️

Fill out the form and click on the “Start Conversation” button. A conversation will then be launched with a Facebook Advertiser Support agent.

The support person will make a call request for you. You’ll then receive an email response, either positive or negative, from the person who assisted you.

A backup plan in case your ad account is deactivated

You can create a backup ad account.

It will save you a lot of time if your primary ad account is ever deactivated or completely blocked.

First, you will need to create a Business Manager account on Facebook. [The Business Manager is a tool that Facebook offers to manage a company’s ad accounts, Facebook Pages, and admins all in one place.]

Once your Business Manager account is created, go to the home page and click on “Business Settings”.

Go to the “Advertising Accounts” tab to your left and then click on the “Add” button.

Now all you have to do is set up your new back up ad account.

If you are wondering about the Facebook Pixel, know that when you use Business Manager, you can connect your pixel to all the advertising accounts you manage.

To connect your Facebook pixel to your backup ad account, go to the “Pixels” tab and click the “Add Resources” button.

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