Is Your Ad Stuck In Facebook Review Limbo?

Last Updated May 14, 2021

Learn which Facebook advertising policies could be holding up your ad approval process.


So you wrote the perfect copy for a Facebook ad and your designer is super talented. When you finalize the ad, you can’t wait for the new leads to come rolling in. The only problem is that it’s been over a day and your ad is still pending for approval by Facebook. What’s going on?!

Before you lose sleep over what could have possibly gone wrong, let’s take a look at Facebook advertising policies that might explain why your ad campaign is still pending (or was maybe even rejected).

😑Frustrated because your ad was rejected? Read up on what you need to know about Decoding (and Fixing!) Facebook Ad Disapprovals. →

What Do They Think When They Look at Your Ad Anyway?

Time lapse of alarm clock ticking

Facebook’s ad review process takes up to 24 hours. During this time, Facebook is looking at your ad’s images, text, and targeting. Here’s what they’re checking for:

The 20% text rule. This does not mean you should just stamp one word on the entire face of the image to make it more “impactful.” No, instead focus on writing clean, precise copy that promotes your brand—as long as the text only takes up 20 percent of the entire image size. 

Facebook Screenshot of preferred image text styles

Accurate links. It’s important that your ad is not taking users to a different landing page than the one advertised.  There is such a thing as predatory advertising practices. If you don’t know what that is, it's because Facebook rejects those ads (phew!). You cannot use your ad budget to harass, interrupt or be discriminatory toward audiences.

Controversial or political statements. Facebook has strict policies in place against what you can and cannot talk about in an ad on its platform. The top social media sites always prohibit content such as that related to violence, ammunition, drugs, and loan schemes.

Lisa Simpson animated gif

In every ad that you produce, make sure you are adhering to Facebook’s Community Standards.

What Could You Possibly Be Missing?

If you’re pretty sure your ad meets all of the requirements of the approval process and your brain is still reeling about what it could possibly be, you’ll need to take another look at restrictions. Here are some of the things that you might have missed. 

  • You can pick your demographic by their financial status, gender, and location but you cannot mention any individual assumption about your potential target market in an ad. 
  • You cannot imply adult content. Find subtler ways—probably way more subtle than what you’d expect—to get your message across. 
  • Is your ad for age sensitive content, but targeting an outside age group? For instance, ads for wine shouldn’t be targeted to a 16 year old audience.
  • Make limited reference to the Facebook ad itself, as their brand collateral is for their own advertising and corporate purposes. Using Facebook branding in an ad for your own business is a big no-no.

Tom Hanks animated gif waving his finger no

Your ad might also be delayed if it was triggered for review due to changes to any of the following features:

  • Ad creative (text, images, links, etc)
  • Targeting parameters
  • Optimization goals
  • Billing events

Facebook Ads Approval Process [Flowchart]

FEATURED RESOURCE: if you're confounded by the ads approval process every time you go through it, download this flowchart for peace of mind. 


Rejection Hurts…But There is Something You Can Do About It

It may seem unfair when you get notified with the headline of ‘Facebook ad not approved’, even though it looks and reads like an impressive ad, sure to capture your audience and generate sales.

An ad is rejected when you fail to comply with a Facebook ad policy. It’s a bummer for sure, but don’t get too discouraged. This social media advertising platform is still one of the best targeting tools you can use for your ad campaigns, even if there’s a bit of a learning curve keeping up with Facebook advertising policies.

Animated gif asking Now what?

When an ad is rejected, just try again. Luckily, Facebook does send a detailed email over what they found wrong in your ad submission. This allows you to fix your mistakes and resubmit an updated ad for review...but only if you think it passes the Facebook ad policy test. 

Jump on a call with one of our growth experts. We'll talk about your goals and create a strategy to get results. 


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