Any ad containing “shocking, sensational, disrespectful or excessively violent content” will be rejected.
Struggling to picture this? Here are some examples:
The fix: A quick image swap or slight change of copy will have you back up and running. Keep in mind, images showing violence (real or fictional) will be flagged. Try and keep sensational content at a minimum as there really isn’t a set formula for images that work better in this scenario.
“Deceptive, false, or misleading content, including deceptive claims, offers, or methods.”
In terms of misleading content, we tend to see the majority of disapprovals in the health and wellness space and when used to discuss money payouts for certain situations.
“Learn to Lose Belly Fat” is very different from “3 Shocking Tips to Lose All Your Belly Fat”. The first headline would be approved, but the second would be denied.
The fix: As a general rule of thumb, only include accurate and non-misleading claims within ad and landing page copy. Make sure information about services or the product is clear and not exaggerated.
Nudity / Sexuality
Unless you’re showcasing a statue within the ad, “nudity, depictions of people in explicit or suggestive positions, or activities that are overly suggestive or sexually provocative” will not get approved.
No artistic or educational images are allowed, even if not explicitly sexual. This includes:
- Nudity or implied nudity
- Excessive visible skin or cleavage
- Images focused on individual body parts, such as abs, buttocks, or chest.
The fix: When working in underwear, bathing suits, or any other industries that might get flagged—the more clothing the better. No tight cropping on individual “areas” (as mentioned above), and no poses that are “suggestive”. If possible, flat lays of the product are a great workaround. Once the item is on the model, you start to have a longer approval process and leave yourself open to the possibility of disapprovals, as well.
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As we mentioned earlier, these are some of the most common issues we’ve seen while running Facebook Ads. However, according to Facebook’s Advertising Policies, there are many other reasons why your ad may get disapproved.
- Brand Usage in Ads
- Ads can’t use the Facebook brand in a way that makes it the most distinctive or prominent feature of the creative, which includes modifying Facebook brand assets in any way.
- Plain and simple, leave the Facebook and Instagram brand assets alone. There’s no real need to have them in your ads anyway.
- Personal Health
- Ads must not contain "before-and-after" images or images that contain unexpected or unlikely results. This means no scales, no zoomed-in photos of stomachs or abs, and especially no “too big pants” on a person’s body.
- Ads for health, fitness or weight loss products must be targeted to people 18 years or older.
- Non-Functional Landing Page
- Ads can’t direct to non-functional landing pages. This includes landing page content that interferes with a person’s ability to navigate away from the page.
- Make sure all ads point to real, live websites or landing pages. Error pages, landing pages that are just jpeg files, or landing pages that automatically download files to the person’s computer are all no-gos.
- Tobacco Products
- Ads can’t promote the sale or use of tobacco products and related paraphernalia.
- However, anti-smoking ads are just fine. Just be sure to use imagery that showcasing the anti-smoking stance.
- Drugs & Drug-Related Products
- Ads can’t promote the sale or use of illegal, prescription, or recreational drugs. This includes, medical and recreational marijuana even in places where it’s currently legal.
- Ads for rehabilitation programs and support groups are allowed.
- Unsafe Supplements
- Including but not limited to anabolic steroids, chitosan, comfrey, dehydroepiandrosterone, ephedra, and human growth hormones.
- Although this one is a little bit vaguer, Facebook ultimately has the final say on what they will allow.
- Weapons, Ammunition, or Explosives
- Ads can’t promote the sale or use of weapons, weapon modification accessories, ammunition, or explosives.
- Plastic guns, swords and toy weapons are fine.
- Adult Products or Services
- Ads can’t promote the sale or use of adult products or services, except when referencing family planning and contraception.
- Ads for contraceptives must focus on the contraceptive features of the product, but can’t focus on sexual pleasure or enhancement, and must be targeted to people 18 years or older.
Disapprovals You Can’t Fix
Unfortunately, there are some disapprovals you can’t fix when working with Facebook Ads. Typically these disapprovals have to do with the product or service you’re promoting either has a general restriction, or more in-depth requirements within the ad targeting.
Products You Can't Sell On Facebook
Some products that you can’t advertise on Facebook include:
Services You Can't Promote (Must Obtain Prior Written Permission)
- “Try Your Luck at our Online Casino”— Real Money Gambling
- Must target people 18 years or older
- “The Next Tinder”— Dating
- “Win Big in New York”— State Lotteries
- Only available to government entities on Facebook
- “Get your Prescription Filled Fast”— Online Pharmacies
- “Buy Dogecoin, Bitcoin”, etc. — Cryptocurrency Products and Services
- “Visit Recovery Haven” — Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment Centers
Since the approval process for an individual ad can take up to 24 hours (sometimes longer in other cases), be sure to be mindful and double-check your work.
Avoid having to go through the whole approval process all over again because of a simple and fixable word misuse.
As with everything else, building Facebook Ads takes practice. Especially when just starting out or implementing new campaigns, it’s important to not let disapprovals discourage you. The majority of disapprovals we see are typically small mistakes that can be solved with quick fixes. Dropping the “you” in the headline, or making the ad copy less sensational gives you an easier starting point and can minimize future disapprovals.
At the end of the day, Facebook’s main goal is “to keep Facebook safe for people.” Keeping that goal in mind and being ready to make small tweaks to bring your ad into alignment with Facebook’s Ad Policies can have you back on the road to Facebook ad success.
If you're tired of spending time wandering the Facebook ads maze, why not bring on some help? Book a call with a growth expert to learn more about maximizing Facebook ads with the help of a top growth marketing agency.