5 Reasons Your Facebook Ads Aren’t Getting Approved, And How To Avoid Them
I think all 3 million entrepreneurs and marketers that run ads on Facebook can agree:
Running ads on Facebook is one of the most efficient ways to generate leads, build brand engagement, and increase conversions.
Another thing agreed upon:
Ever since the news of the Cambridge Analytical scandal broke out a little over a year ago, Facebook has held a tighter grip on their ad regulations and policies for administrative compliance reasons.
Which means more Facebook Ads aren’t getting approved.
We first saw these changes internally with the constant updates and modifications to Facebook’s ad policy, and now, with the governments forced interference for specific sectors such as credit, real estate, and employment.
Although rules are stricter, there are still strategic methods you can start implementing for your marketing practices today to decrease the chance of getting your Facebook ads rejected.
Adhere to Facebook’s Community Guidelines and Policies
For the sake of brevity, I’m not going to tire us both with every word of Facebook’s Community Guidelines, or their ad policy for that matter.
If you’re interested in a more in-depth explanation, feel free to check out our Ultimate Guide to Facebook Ads for eCommerce.
But seriously, guys, this should be your first plan of attack.
There is no way your ad will pass the preliminary review if it isn’t compliant with these rules.
And although the terms are updated continuously, it’s still your responsibility to check them – weekly.
Facebook understands that if anything interferes with their customers’ enjoyment of the platform, they will lose them rapidly. And without Facebook users, there won’t be anyone to market to. So it’s best to stay compliant.
The key to compliance is neutrality.
- Should not solicit prohibited materials or age-restricted items to minors. Keep in mind country-specific laws.
- Should avoid personal attributes such as race and ethnicity, religious beliefs, medical conditions, etc.
- Should avoid adult content such as nudity or suggestive posing.
- Should not use Facebook’s branding:
- Advertisers are not allowed to use Facebook’s branding or modified versions of Facebook’s branding within their creatives.
- In addition, if you use their name anywhere in your copy, you must use proper capitalization and the same font and style as the rest of the text.
- You can not pluralize the name, abbreviate it in any way, or use it as a verb.
The copy you create should be neutral as well.
According to SMART Media Buyer & Head of Advertising, Chase Winslow, the copy shouldn’t consist of any possessives such as you, your, his, her, their.
You should also avoid saying anything that could be considered discriminatory.
Even if discrimination is the last thing that crosses your mind when you write your copy, minor offenses such as mentioning age and gender will get your ads flagged.
One last note on the copy – Facebook flags improper use of grammar and excessive use of capitalization and emoji’s.
The 4 most common policy violations that cause Shopify store owners ad’s to get disapproved:
- 3rd Paty Infringement (Trademark and Copyright violations)
- Low Quality or Disruptive Content
- Misleading/False Content
- Nonfunctional Landing Pages
We will go into these further.
Avoid Trademarked Images, Videos, and Music
China has extremely loose intellectual property laws (IP laws), so a lot of the trademarked items in the U.S. aren’t necessarily protected the same way under Chinese law.
As you can imagine, this confuses most dropshippers.
For the legal safety of our community and customers, it’s my responsibility to emphasize that the U.S. heavily regulates IP laws.
So, in addition to being prohibited from sell trademarked items, you’re also banned from using trademarked content for commercial purposes.
So that means you can’t use images of celebrities, videos off of YouTube, or use music that is trademarked – which most is.
Don’t worry – some softwares allow you to create your own materials, infringement-free!
Canva is an easy to use tool designed for non-designers that allows you to create professional grade, shareable content. Canva has powerful photo editing tools, templates, and icons that enable you to create unique advertising materials that can separate you from your competition.
Clipman is a software designed with simplicity and affordability in mind. It’s also for non-designers. Clipman empowers you to create high-converting video ads within minutes. You’re in control of what’s in the video – such as images used, select music from their library, and write your own copy.
Keep in mind that Facebook has limitations on the amount of overlay text on an image.
If you exceed 20% text to ad ratio, they will reduce your reach, and fewer people will view your ad.
To make sure you fall within the 20% rule, use Facebook’s Overlay Text tool.
One last remark on 3rd party infringement violations:
If you aren’t sure whether an image, video, or sound clip is legally protected, play it safe and don’t use it.
Avoid Using Low Quality or Disruptive Content
A lot of the content collected from suppliers on Ali Express won’t convert well when you try to turn them into ads. And you will most likely be penalized for it.
You can also get penalized for using unoriginal content.
In addition to low-quality, unoriginal content, disruptive content is equally disciplined.
What constitutes disruptive content?
According to Facebook, disruptive content is any content within the ad or external landing pages that provides an unexpected or disruptive experience.
So, no misleading ad positioning (including headlines), or non-functional buttons, such as play buttons, that ruse a user into interacting with an ad is not allowed.
Don’t Solicit Misleading or False Content
Your ads and landing pages can’t include false claims, offers, or methods.
The same promises listed on your ads should extend to your store.
Congruency of ad content should be your top priority. Whatever ad image you used for your creative, should be the same image a visitor sees on the landing page.
Your copy shouldn’t contain any false attributes, quality, or functionality when describing your product.
And you can’t be vague about the products delivery time.
Elements Beyond the Facebook Ad
As you may have already gathered, Facebook also checks the landing pages your ads link to.
There must be congruency between the ad itself, and the content of the landing pages.
The Steps You Should Take When Your Ads Get Disapproved
A fact of life – along with the sky being blue and dogs being cute – is that once in a while, you’ll have an ad flagged and rejected.
Ad disapproval is a common issue even seasoned marketers bump into, so remain calm.
Facebook is a fair platform, and they want to work with marketers as closely as marketers want to work with them.
Once Facebook rejects an ad, they will send an email to the address associated with the account explaining why.
You can modify the ad based on Facebook’s disapproval reasons and resubmit the ad for review.
If you are 100% confident that there was a mistake and that your ad is, in fact, completely compliant, then you’re able to submit an appeal request.
Steps for appeal:
- Apply for the appeal by filling out the form. It’s important to note that this review can also take up to 24 hours.
- You can either pause your campaign or let it run during the appeal process. The choice is up to you. If you decide to keep the campaign running and the appeal is successful, the ad will start running automatically.
- When you fill out the appeal form, you should include a detailed explanation that mentions why you believe you need an appeal, as well as an argument focused on why Facebook should review your ad again. If you’re appealing multiple ads at a time, copy and paste the script for each appeal.
If you lose the appeal, there was something wrong with your ad. Create a new one or duplicate it and try again.
What You Should Do If Your Account Gets Banned
Unfortunately, if too many of your ads are flagged and rejected, you can run the risk of disabling your ad account. That’s why it’s imperative to follow Facebook’s guidelines and policies.
If you have been unfortunate enough to have your account banned, there are some steps you can take to get back on the platform.
Digital marketing agency owner, Julie Stoian, wrote an article for Entrepreneur outlining the steps she recommends to her clients.
First, you should try to appeal the ban via Facebook support.
If the appeal isn’t successful, you’ll have to take a few extra steps:
- You’ll need to set up a new business manager account from a new IP address – either from a friend or family members home. You’ll most likely have to use their name as well.
- Find a different form of payment; you can’t use the credit or debit card used on the previous account.
- Finally, you’ll have to set yourself up as an admin on the account so you can get full access to administrative privileges.
Unfortunately, this will be your only solution.
You can’t recover a personal ad account unless Facebook’s support team approves it.
You could risk setting up a new profile, but this is against the terms of service, and we don’t advise doing it. Most accounts that have tried this get shut down almost immediately.
To Wrap This Up…
Facebook prioritizes the happiness and comfort of their users but still works hard to keep a competitive and profitable ecosystem for their marketers.
By following their ad policies and community guidelines, you shouldn’t have any issues when it comes to running ads, but in case you do, Facebook will work with you to increase your approval chances either through modification recommendations or ad appeals.
If you want more information on running ads, make sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Facebook Ads for eCommerce and let us know your best Facebook ad practices in the comments below!
Patricia is a self-proclaimed dog enthusiast who also happens to spearhead the content marketing efforts at SMART Apps. When she’s not petting dogs or writing about the industry insights, you can find her on a yoga mat or reading anything that feeds her bibliophilic needs.