I’m an old guy when it comes to Facebook advertising. I’ve been doing it for a long time. As a result, I think I know Facebook’s advertising policies pretty well.
I don’t test Facebook’s policies or push the limits. I do all I can to follow the rules and stay on Facebook’s good side.
Ad rejections are rare for me. When they happen, it’s almost always for the same reason — and it’s almost always because my ad was flagged incorrectly.
I had an ad rejected last week, and my initial reaction was, “Okay, Facebook, you screwed up again.” But it turns out I was actually violating the rules this time.
I want to be sure you don’t, too.
The Offending Ad
The ad I tried to run, promoting my upcoming training, looked like this…
Nothing particularly out of the ordinary here. I didn’t expect any issues.
The Rejection: My Assumption
When I received the initial rejection, I saw an old nemesis: “Partnership, sponsorship, or endorsement.”
Here’s the portion that caught my eye:
Text: Ads must not reference Facebook or Instagram in a way that is against our brand guidelines. We don’t allow the use of the Facebook or Instagram brand in a way that implies partnership, sponsorship, or endorsement;
When my ads have been rejected in the past, this is almost always the reason why. And it’s not an accurate reflection of my advertising. It seems that the mere mention of “Facebook” in my copy has triggered the rejection.
So, like I’ve done 20 or so times before over the past decade, I roll my eyes and request a manual review of my ad. In that request, I explain that my business is education on Facebook advertising, and I never imply “partnership, sponsorship, or endorsement.”
The Rejection: Abbreviations
Then a weird thing happens: My ad is rejected again.
What’s the freaking deal, Facebook? Didn’t you read my explanation? I’m not doing anything wrong!
I stopped the original explanation above mid-excerpt. But it continued.
The key portion as related to my offending ad:
…nor do we allow the manipulation of the words “Facebook” or “Instagram” (Ex. “FB” and “IG”).
Whoops. Yeah, I did that. And really, I can’t tell you exactly why I did. It may have been to limit the amount of text before Facebook forced the reader to expand to read more. It may have been completely subconscious, thinking that doing so wouldn’t trigger Facebook’s rejection for “partnership, sponsorship, or endorsement.”
Clearly, that was the issue. I updated my ads, changing the copy to “Facebook and Instagram,” and guess what? Approved. No problems.
Here’s Facebook’s explanation for why this particular rejection exists:
We require ads featuring the Facebook or Instagram brand to follow specific brand guidelines because all Facebook and Instagram features and icons are legally protected brand assets.
The specific portion of the Facebook Advertising Policies cited here is 11. Use of Brand Assets. If you’re going to use Facebook brand assets in your ads, you just need to make sure that those assets are accurate and up-to-date, whether it be spelling or use of the logo.
I swear there was a time when using the Facebook logo wasn’t allowed. But when you advertise on a single platform for 10 years, your memory gets a bit hazy.
Wanting advertisers to use the brand assets correctly makes total sense. However, I don’t know why that is included anywhere close to the “partnership, sponsorship, or endorsement” wording when initially explained. They really aren’t particularly related.
Regardless, just something for you to think about. Don’t make the same mistake, or your FB or IG (?!) ad will be rejected!
Master Copy and Creative in Our Upcoming Training
Ad copy is a timely topic since it will be a focus in my upcoming training, Ad Creative Mastery: Crank Up Your Facebook and Instagram Ad Creative for Winning Results.
Training occurs live on Tuesday, August 13 at 3pm EDT. Students and Power Hitters Club – Elite members will get access to the full replay notes as well, even if you are unable to attend live. It will be conducted by my good friend Andrew Foxwell, who has led much of my training over the past couple of years.
I hope to see you there!
Have you had your ad rejected for odd reasons? What else are you seeing?
Let me know in the comments below!