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Facebook Ad Policy 2020

Time for a not-so-exciting topic on Facebook ads—but is a need-to-know. Here’s the buzz. Are you here because your ad was shut down? Or maybe you’re new to facebook ads and wondering what kind of rules Facebook advertising requires. Facebook focuses on having a user-friendly experience. The chances of an ad not getting approved or getting canceled are something to be prepared for. This doesn’t mean skipping out on learning what is in the Facebook ad policy. It’s definitely a lot easier to prevent problems than deal with the consequences. In this case, the consequences can be cancellation of your Facebook ad or termination of an account. Facebook ads are reviewed before getting approved to show on both the Facebook or Instagram platforms. Facebook makes sure the ad complies with its ad policy. It takes about twenty-four hours to get an ad approved. It can be longer, depending on the ad. A few topics that will be discussed are the components Facebook looks over when reviewing the ad, common problems Facebook encounters, prohibited and restricted content, other ad guidelines, and what causes an ad to get shut down and disapproved.

The Components Facebook Looks Over When Reviewing the Ad

  1. Ad images
  2. Text
  3. Targeting
  4. Positioning
  5. Landing page content
Facebook ad approval chart

The Most Significant Problem Areas Facebook Encounters

Personal Attributes

  • race
  • religion or philosophical beliefs
  • age
  • sexual orientation or sexual behavior
  • gender identity
  • disability or medical condition
  • financial status or information
  • membership in a trade union
  • criminal record
  • name

Adult Content

  • sexually suggestive content or explicit content

Brand Usage

  • ads should not represent Facebook
  • Facebook brand assets should not be modified in any way—changing the design or color 
The Facebook ad policy may seem detailed. It is essential to Facebook that users maintain a positive experience while using the platform. Facebook ads are still needed for the revenue it brings in. Continue reading for a quick reference of what to look out for.

Prohibited and Restricted Content

Prohibited Content

  • should not violate Community Standards: authenticity, safety, privacy, dignity
  • illegal products or services
  • discriminatory practices
  • tobacco and related products
  • drugs and drug-related products
  • unsafe supplements
  • weapons, ammunition, or explosives
  • adult products or services
  • adult content
  • third-party infringement
  • sensational content
  • personal attributes
  • misinformation
  • controversial content
  • non-functional landing page
  • grammar and profanity
  • nonexistent functionality—features that don’t work
  • personal health—”before-and-after” images
  • payday loans, paycheck advances, and bail bonds
  • multilevel marketing
  • penny auctions
  • misleading claims
  • low quality or disruptive content
  • spyware or malware
  • automatic animation
  • unacceptable business practices—scamming
  • circumventing systems—techniques to bypass the ad review process
  • prohibited financial products and services
  • sale of body parts

Restricted Content

  • alcohol
  • dating
  • real money gambling
  • state lotteries
  • online pharmacies
  • promotion of over-the-counter drugs
  • subscription services
  • financial and insurance products and services
  • branded content
  • ads about social issues, elections or politics
  • disclaimers for ads about social issues, elections or politics
  • cryptocurrency products and services
  • drug and alcohol addiction treatment
  • cosmetic procedures and weight loss

Other Ad Guidelines

Video Ads

  • disruptive content—flashing screens
  • entertainment-related restrictions—written permission from Facebook for mature audience ads

Lead Ads

Questions should not reflect the following:

  • account numbers
  • criminal history
  • financial information government-issued identifiers
  • health information
  • insurance information
  • political affiliation
  • race or ethnicity
  • religion
  • sexual orientation
  • template questions
  • trade union membership
  • usernames or passwords


  • discrimination
  • custom audiences terms—selling or transferring your custom audience information


  • relevance
  • accuracy—clearly represent the company, product, service or brand being advertised
  • related landing pages—ad’s text needs to match what’s being promoted on the landing page

Headline and Body Text

  • less than 20% text on images or videos
  • use Facebook’s text overlay tool to check for the text amount on an ad

Disapproved Ad

Edit Your Ad

  • check your email from Facebook
  • edit ad according to the instructions from the email

Appeal the Decision

  • when you think Facebook made a mistake
  • fill out Facebook’s online form to request review of an ad
Disapproved Facebook ad diagram


It may not seem like it, but this is definately the less detailed version of Facebook’s ad policy. If you remember anything, remember this: don’t ask for sensitive information, use any offensive text or misleading messages, and use minimal text on ads. This helps expose Facebook users to a user-friendly experience.

See below to view the Facebook ad policy cheat sheet I put together as a quick reference. 

Facebook ad policy cheat sheet 2020
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