Just like other forms of advertising, online ads are bound to rules. It is not always possible or allowed to show all ads. Besides checking images, we also check whether an ads clicks through to the right page. What rules does your ad need to follow? Here an overview of guidelines of several ad auctions.
Overview of approved ads
After logging into the platform, you can see all created ads under Ads > Overview. Besides name, dimensions and target URL, you'll also find the status of the ad here. When an ad is rejected or partly accepted, it will be followed by a small question mark stating the reason why.
Sometimes an ad will be approved for retargeting by only a part of the ad auctions. Several ad auctions follow different rules for some aspects. An animation, for example, can be no longer than 30 seconds to be approved by the Google Display Network.
Ads on the web
The ads are approved by the international ad auctions.
- Creative does not display properly: At the moment of testing, the ad was probably not or only partly shown.
- Creative improperly rotates brands or advertisers: To remain transparent on pages where the ad is allowed to be shown, every ad needs to contain a brand. This allows publishers to check which brands are appropriate for their pages. When branding rotates or is ambiguous, the ad will be rejected.
- Creative does not click through properly: At the moment of testing, the ad was not clickable or clicked through to an error page.
- Creative does not contain sufficient brand notification: The brand must be clearly visible in the ad. A clear brand is also necessary to show visitors what kind of ad they are clicking. Ads in which the brand is not clear (for instance because name or logo are missing) will be rejected.
- Creative brand does not match landing page: The target page linked to the ad does not match the brand.
- Creative brand is not approved: When a certain brand is included on a blacklist, all ads of this brand will be rejected.
- Creative does not meet minimum standards: The ad was most likely offensive, illegal, disturbing, or otherwise unsuited for the general public.
- Custom message: It is possible that special feedback is given about the testing.
Guidelines advertising on Facebook
For advertising on Facebook the guidelines as described by Facebook are valid.
- Ads that promote promotions and contests on the Facebook page must adhere to the rules for Facebook pages.
- Ads cannot contain false, misleading, or fraudulent information.
- Ads must be relevant to the product or brand being advertised.
- Ads cannot contain automatic audio and video content that starts playing without the user's consent. It is also not allowed to use ads that enlarge when they are clicked.
- Products may not be posed in a sexually suggestive manner in the ad.
- Ads may not misuse political expressions for commercial use. The same goes for issues that can elicit a strong emotional reaction.
- Information in the ads needs to be correctly spelled.
- It must be clear for which brand, product or business is being advertised. The target page must correspond to this.
- Images for ads in the Facebook News Feed may contain no more than 20 percent text .
- Advertisers need to adhere to valid legislation in their country concerning advertising.
Facebook has stipulated specific rules for the following brands and products:
- Sexually themed products or services. Facebook prohibits ads for sex toys, videos, publications, live shows, and stimulants. Ads for contraceptives and additions to the family are allowed.
- Ads in which alcohol is being advertised must adhere to all local rules and regulations. These ads may not be shown to underage individuals.
- Ads for dating websites with an emphasis on sexual contacts are not allowed. Other dating websites must adhere to stricter rules, and these websites need to be checked by Facebook first.
- Ads that promote or sell illegal or soft drugs are not allowed. Ads for tobacco or other smoking products are prohibited.
- Ads that promote online gambling, casinos, bingo, games of chance, or lotteries are allowed only in specific countries, with requested permission beforehand from Facebook.
- Ads in which prescription medicines are offered are prohibited. Online drugstores and pharmacies can only advertise if their have received permission beforehand from Facebook. Ads for slimming products and homeopathic medicine are generally allowed.
- Ads that link to websites that contain spyware or malware are prohibited. Automatic downloads are also prohibited.
- Promotion for services that come with an automatic subscription or payment service must clearly state this in the ad itself. The target page must also state the price and frequency of collection, and how the user can unsubscribe from this. All of this must be clearly visible and easily understandable.
- Ads for pyramid schemes or other types of shamming are prohibited.
- Advertising for the sale or use of weapons, ammunition or explosives is prohibited.
- Ads that receive a lot of negative feedback from users will be deleted.
- Ads may not insult, threaten, or bully users, or otherwise have a negative tone. Hate speech is prohibited.
- Ads aimed at underage individuals may not contain products that are unsuited, illegal or unsafe for that target group.
- Ads that are shocking, disrespectful or violent are prohibited.
- Ads may not suggest any recommendation or collaboration with Facebook itself. In case Facebook branded content is referred to, like the Facebook page, Facebook Groups or an event on Facebook, limited use of the brand "Facebook" in the ad's text is allowed.
- Ads may not violate copyright, privacy, logo or other third party rights.