With the launch of their new ad platform, many companies and individuals now have the ability to reach a vast new audience via Facebook ads. However, there are some products that Facebook won’t allow to advertise on their site. You can always view the official Facebook ad guidelines online. Here is a quick recap of the eight types of content that are prohibited in Facebook ads.
1. Tobacco Products
Ads may not promote tobacco or tobacco-related products, including cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, tobacco pipes, hookahs, hookah lounges, rolling papers, vaporized tobacco delivery devices and electronic cigarettes. Ads promoting blogs or groups that exist to help connect people whose interests are related to these products are allowed as long as the service does not lead to the sale of any tobacco or tobacco-related products. Ads for anti-smoking campaigns, e-books, counseling services for smoking addiction and rehabilitation programs or facilities for smokers are allowed.
Ads may not promote firearms, ammunition, paintball guns, bb guns, fireworks, explosives, pepper spray, knives, tasers, or weapons of any kind, including those used for self-defense. Ads may not directly or indirectly link to landing pages where people can purchase any of these products. Images of weapons are generally acceptable, as long as the weapon is not pointed directly at the person seeing it. Ads promoting blogs or groups that exist to help connect people whose interests are related to these products are allowed as long as the service does not lead to the sale of any weapons or explosives.
3. Derogatory Personal, Political and Religious Content
Ad content may not express hatred or intent of violence against any individual or group, particularly surrounding the race, sex, creed, national origin, religious affiliation, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or language of that individual or group. Facebook advocates freedom of political speech, but does not tolerate the use of derogatory language for political purposes, as this leads to high negative feedback from people.
4. Spy Cams and Surveillance Equipment
James Bond may be the world’s most famous spy, but his new idea for a spy cam store won’t get very far on Facebook. Facebook ads may not promote the sale of spy cams, mobile phone trackers or other surveillance equipment hidden in products such as pens, keys, etc. The promotion of private detective services may be allowed, so be on the lookout for Magnum PI.
5. Counterfeit Goods
With the recent study showing that nearly 25% of luxury item ads on Facebook were leading to sites that may promote or facilitate the sale of counterfeit goods, Facebook has taken a firm stance and will block any types of ads that fall within this category.
6. Fake Documents
Forgers looking to expand from dark alleyways and windowless vans will run into problems on Facebook. Ads may not promote fake documents such as degrees, passports, immigration papers, etc.
As a general rule, Facebook ads may not contain nudity or pornographic material of any kind. But how much skin can be shown in a Facebook ad before it will get rejected? We ran a few ideas by the Facebook team and got the following response:
Facebook Ad was Approved
- Facebook ad with woman in t-shirt with minimal cleavage.
- Facebook ad with woman in low v-neck t-shirt with noticeable cleavage.
- Facebook ad with woman in normal swimsuit.
- Facebook ad with woman in normal t-shirt wearing underwear or boy shorts.
Facebook Ad was Rejected
- Facebook ad with woman in bikini.
- Facebook ad with woman in shorts with no shirt, hands covering breasts.
- Facebook ad with normal shorts with low cut t-shirt exposing some underside of breast.
8. Penny Auctions
Penny auctions lure consumers into thinking they are able to purchase high ticket items like iPads, designer handbags and other electronics for a margin of the retail price. What the companies don’t disclose is that you must pay to bid, meaning multiple people are paying money, but only the highest bidder receives the final item. Facebook has stated that no ads may promote penny auctions, bidding fee auctions, and other similar business models.
Looking to learn more or stay up to date on Facebooks ad guidelines, read the full list of Prohibited Content on Facebook.com