Mastering Facebook Advertising Guidelines: 10 reasons your ad on Facebook got rejected or your account banned


Facebook advertising has turned into a necessary skill set for many digital marketers. It’s the largest social network in the world, and the amount of data they've acquired about their user base is nothing short of remarkable. As a result, Facebook has been a game changer for many small businesses.

Given our own reliance on Facebook as an advertising medium, we at Viral Solutions always make sure to stay within Facebook’s guidelines. Far from being restrictive, however, these guidelines truly are guidelines, and they are in place to benefit you. The more honed-in your high-level marketing strategy is, the less you'll have to worry about compliance with Facebook’s advertising guidelines.

It’s important to note that Facebook takes its guidelines quite seriously, and will completely ban users if they repeatedly violate them. Sure, we all know that there are plenty of marketers out there who deserve to be banned from Facebook. However, there are also plenty of small businesses out there that just don't know that Facebook monitors quite a few things once you put up an advertisement.

I would not say it’s hard to stay within the guidelines, but for anyone who is somewhat new to Facebook, it can definitely be a bit frustrating, and you're just going to have to think of ways to work around it. All in all, the guidelines really are not anything to worry about in the long-term. Once you learn more about the guidelines and how they apply to different types of businesses, you'll be well on your way to mastering Facebook advertising.

Let’s now take a look at 10 reasons your ad on Facebook got rejected, or even worse, got your account banned:

1. It contained false or deceptive claims or content. Facebook states, Ads must not constitute, facilitate, or promote illegal products, services or activities. Ads targeted to minors must not promote products, services, or content that are inappropriate, illegal, or unsafe, or that exploit, mislead, or exert undue pressure on the age groups targeted.

2. Use of Custom Audiences failed to comply with Custom Audience Terms. You must not use targeting options to discriminate against, harass, provoke, or disparage users or to engage in predatory advertising practices.

facebook advertising guideline

At Viral Solutions, we understand the trials and tribulations that many new owners of small businesses face in the early going. We help overwhelmed small business owners duplicate themselves – so business can be fun again.

If you target your ads to custom audiences, you must comply with the applicable terms when creating an audience.

3. You shared advertising data with sources outside of Facebook. Don't transfer any Facebook advertising data (including anonymous, aggregate, or derived data) to any ad network, ad exchange, data broker or other advertising or monetization related service. Don’t use Facebook advertising data for any purpose (including retargeting, commingling data across multiple advertisers’ campaigns, or allowing piggybacking or redirecting with tags), except on an aggregate and anonymous basis (unless authorized by Facebook) and only to assess the performance and effectiveness of your Facebook advertising campaigns.

4. It implied a user’s personal characteristics (race, religion, age, disability, financial status, criminal record, etc.) 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.

5. No more than 20 percent text is allowed in your creative images. The 20% text policy doesn't include: Pictures of products that include text on the actual product (ex: book covers, album covers, movie posters). Embedded text on images of games and apps. Cartoons where text is part of the cartoon. The 20% text policy does include: Logos and slogans.  Images with text overlay (ex: watermarks). Images that are clearly edited to include text on the product as a loophole to policy. Images may not portray nonexistent functionality such as a “play” button that suggests video capability or a “close” button that doesn't close. Images that implied weight loss through the use of before and after shots. Video images violated the policy that video advertisements promoting health products are not allowed to play automatically.

6. It promoted something illegal or restricted content. Alcohol that does not comply to local, state of country laws; such as age of viewer or content of product, you must seek pre approval. Gambling and games. Real money games must see Facebook approval. State lotteries, must be run by legitimate government entities. Online pharmacies, must seek prior Facebook approval, may only target people over 18. Anything Facebook deems inappropriate in its sole discretion.

7. Subscription services. Ads for products that require a subscription must make the subscription terms evident to people in the ad copy.

8. It implied an endorsement from or partnership with Facebook. Only use Facebook in reference to a destination to find your content. Do not use anything similar to Facebook branding (FB, F logos, Face, Book etc in a way that implies a partnership or approval).

9.It violated copyright laws. It violated trademark laws

10. Page Posts must comply with Page Terms, which is another list. One interesting tidbit from these rules was that Page names must not consist solely of generic terms (e.g., “beer” or “pizza”)

As you can see

Facebook’s advertising guidelines can be pretty grey sometimes. At the end of the day, Facebook reserves the right to reject any ad for any reason that they determine negatively affects their relationship with users or that promotes content, services or activities which would be disadvantageous to Facebook’s competitive position in the marketplace, interests or advertising philosophy.

Technically, you could go and read ALL of Facebook’s advertising guidelines—there are many, many more in addition to the 10 I shared—and still find a particular advertisement that could be rejected by Facebook. However, that really is pretty rare. If you’re within the guidelines that Facebook lays out for you, you should bet set. However, there is another area of concern and that is your

Landing Pages: The most commonly misunderstood Facebook guideline

That’s right. Just because your ad creative, copy, claims or call-to-action were all in compliance DOESN'T mean you're off the hook yet.

Facebook also has guidelines for the landing pages to which you're driving your website traffic. This is actually one of the more common reasons that people’s ads get rejected on Facebook, so hopefully you read this far.

Why does Facebook want to monitor the landing pages that its users are being sent to? It’s pretty simple, actually. There are lots of spammers and unethical marketers out there, and Facebook just can’t allow them to get a hold of their users.

Landing Pages: The most commonly misunderstood Facebook guideline

Non-functional landing pages. This includes landing pages that interfere with a person’s ability to navigate away from the page.

Let’s now take a specific look at 5 potential reasons the landing page for your Facebook ad was unacceptable:

Frustrated with Facebook?

Facebook can be really frustrating if you haven't invested the time into learning the details of how their advertising platform works. Have you had problems with getting your ads rejected lately? We would love to hear from you.

RESOURCE: Facebook advertising policies 

Copyright 2015 Viral Solutions LLC

We help overwhelmed small business owners duplicate themselves – so business can be fun again
Viral Solutions LLC is a Digital Marketer Certified Partner, an Infusionsoft Certified Consultant, a Google Partner – Certified in AdWords and a Mobit Certified Partner.


At Viral Solutions we are committed to seeing YOU succeed. It is our goal to grow your business with proven digital marketing strategies that will help your business for the long haul.

Stay Up To Speed in the Ever Changing World of Marketing!

Sign-up today for FREE, monthly marketing tips, loopholes, and news to EXPLODE your Return on Investment!



Share your knowledge and gain exposure by becoming a guest author on our blog! Learn how to write for us.

Filed Under: Analytics