Surviving Facebook Advertising’s Ad Approval Process

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Facebook Ad Rejected

If you are making plans to go ahead and start advertising on Facebook then there are several ‘gotchas’ you will need to be aware of if you want to avoid frustration. Whether you look after the advertising yourself, have an internal ad manager or you hire a consultant like me it is beneficial for you to have at least a broad understanding of the ad approval process.

If your online marketing manager has not read Facebook’s advertising guidelines then the first rule you are likely to break is the 20% text limit on images (section III part D.). That is, any image used in an ad (including promoted status updates) can have a maximum of 20% of the space used by text. This is a regular point of annoyance for me since I regularly see some advertisers getting with way more than 20% text.

For the sake of your sanity don’t expect a completely level playing field, only confusion and disappointment can follow. Large brands for example seem to get away with stretching the rules more than anyone else I’ve noticed.

Today I managed to set-off another red flag in Facebook’s ad approval process. Although this ad was no doubt rejected by an ad review bot (a computer program checked it, not a human) I was somewhat annoyed that the process was not more robust and that my client’s ad was further delayed. Normally you plan these things ahead of time to avoid delays however this was a snap offer.

The ad did not break any rules or guidelines and it was eventually approved after I submitted an appeal and was granted a manual review.

Here is the part of the ad that triggered the ‘unrealistic or unlikely claim’:

This month you can save $500 off ANY 5-day course we offer. Be quick, book online now!

Initially the ad was rejected with this message:

Your ad wasn’t approved because it violates Facebook’s Ad Guidelines by making claims that are unrealistic or unlikely. If you’ve reviewed the Facebook Advertising Guidelines and think your ad should have been approved, please get in touch.

There is an obvious need to police ad content to ensure advertisers don’t make silly claims and all online advertising platforms of note enforce their own flavour of ad guidelines. That said, Facebook seems to be the one that is unlikely to successfully handle ad reviews using an algorithm and as a result they are responsible for more delays than any other system I have used.

As I’ve alluded to above the takeaway from this is to plan your ads well in advance if at all possible. Ad review processes are not standardised and the length of time needed varies from minutes to days across all online advertising platforms.

If you would like to discuss hiring me to manage your online advertising, including on Facebook, you can contact me via the form at the bottom of the Justin Taylor Consulting homepage.