One of our clients got a Facebook Ads account disabled today.
 
We manage their Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, set up targeting and tracking but they manage their own Facebook Ads. 
 
We have access to their ad accounts to do report creation and tracking.
I'm not going to share the rights or wrongs about whether Facebook are consistent or justified in disabling the account.
 
Frankly, there are only rights and they are Facebook rights.
 
How we interpret their policies matters less than how they interpret and enforce.
 
I do have a few observations though, which I see fairly consistently on many ads that people are saying are white hat/compliant, but when you read and interpret the policies they are not.
 
I'm going to focus on a few things.
 
The first, is that when you get an ad account disabled, Facebook suggest you take the Ad Policies for Content, Creative and Targeting course on Facebook Blueprint.
 
I just took and passed the course.
 
facebook ad policy
 
It took me 20 minutes to complete.
 
It suggests 16 minutes, but I was taking notes and screen grabs.
 
One of the key things it points out is:
 
Even though your ad may start delivering, it can be subject to multiple levels of review and later be disapproved. One example is if your approved ad receives an unusually high number of negative feedback, such as people marking your ad as spam or hiding your ad.
 

We set up "compliance" reports in Google Data Studio, so we can be proactive in checking our work and we can act to address signals before Facebook editorial team does.

We'll be looking for signals to do with quality, engagement, conversion, CTR and frequency.

A surefire way to piss people off is to continually show the same ad over and over again and hammer them. It's one of the reasons we like dynamic creative ads, because the ads are mostly different.

It's important to note though that when you use dynamic creative, you lose the signals in respect of quality ranking, engagement rate and conversion rate, because it's not just one ad.

datastudio report

 

Grammar and Profanity

 
Don't use excessive symbols, characters, or punctuation.
 
Misused capitalisation, like using all capital letters in your ad's text.
 
My advice would be to use Proper case and if you have to use emojis, use one heart emoji, not 3 ❤️❤️❤️
 
And DON'T SHOUT AT ME by using all caps and multiple exclamation marks or question marks
 

Geographic IP restriction

 
All apps ads are reviewed from a variety of international locations, so if you’re directing people to a website that’s restricted to people in certain regions, your ad may not be approved.
 
GDPR - I see many US sites block all visitors from Europe.
 
Many of the editorial staff who review ads for Facebook are in Ireland (and India).
 
So, check if your site looks the same in every country.
 
You can use a VPN to check, but they will not use a VPN.
 

Error Pages

 
Your landing page must function in all browsers and can’t lead people to a site that is under construction or an “error page.”
 
You can check this by confirming that any tracking URL properly redirects to your desired landing page.
 
Sometimes it's as simple as using https:// vs. http:// or a trailing slash at the end of url vs. no trailing slash.
 
Don't be sloppy with the URL's you use.
 

Web Of Trust

 
The landing page linked to your ad must not have been negatively flagged by Web of Trust, a website review service that has no affiliation with Facebook.
 
You can learn more about your site’s rating at https://www.mywot.com/
 
They have a browser extension that you should install, that way you can be proactive if you find there are issues with your site.
 
web of trust
 
If you are selling supplements then you should check https://www.legitscript.com/ to see if your site or product has been flagged.
 
Facebook (and Google and Microsoft) rely on LegitScript to validate and blacklist a site or say that the site is compliant with the best practise for content relating to that mirky arena.
 
If your site does get blacklisted by LegitScript you can get your site certified by them.
 
It is not cheap, but being able to run ads might make a huge difference to your bottom line.
 

Prohibited Content

 
Your ad likely won’t be approved if the landing page contains products or services that are prohibited by Facebook's advertising policies, or shows ads that don’t apply to those same policies.
 
This also includes misleading ad positioning, such as overly sensationalised headlines, and leading people to landing pages that contain MINIMAL ORIGINAL CONTENT (thin content or affiliate sites) and a majority of unrelated or low-quality ad content.
 
The landing page should also include a MINIMAL NUMBER OF ADS, POP-UPS (entry pops or exit pops), and CONTENT BLOCKERS (ad blocker).
 
Just because you've run ads over on Native platforms, you can't assume what you do there will port across to Facebook.
 

Personal Characteristics

 
Ads can’t assert or imply, directly or indirectly, that you know a person’s personal characteristics.
 
If you use the word "other" in an ad it implies that the person possesses that characteristic.
 
So, even if you have a landing page on your site and people click on a link and in doing so they tell you they are Christian and you add them to an audience of Christians, you can't imply that in the ad, even though you know it to be true.
 

Non-discrimination

 
Advertising policies prohibit advertisers from using Facebook ads products to discriminate against individuals or groups of people.
 
Ads are deemed to be discriminatory when they deny opportunities to individuals or groups of people based on certain personal attributes such as:
 
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Family/marital status
  • Disability or medical or genetic condition.

So, even though you might run a barber shop where 99% of your clients are men, you can't use words like "guys, fellas, other men" in the ads, even if you are only targeting men.
 
Once you have gone through your Blueprint exam and passed your test (I am sure they check), you need to review all of your ad copy for breaches, not just the ad that appeared to cause the account to be disabled.
 
Change or remove offending ads (if you have old campaigns/ad sets/ads - DELETE THEM).
 
Only then should you submit your appeal at :https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/1582364792025146/
 
It is vital that you make sure you are appealing the right ad.
 
By default they will check the last one rejected.
 
Follow the instructions on that page to get the right ad ID.
 

Summary

 
Will following these guidelines guarantee your appeal will be successful?
 
Probably not.

But just assuming the ban is an error on the part of Facebook and that you have done nothing wrong is naive.
 
Just appealing without checking anything or doing anything is a surefire way to escalate the disablement to a full scale ban of that account and possibly other ad accounts you manage in your Business Manager and maybe even your personal Facebook account.
 
Facebook don't owe any of us a living.
 
They have a rapidly growing advertiser base and a few advertisers spoiling it for the many.
 
We need to respect their rules and understand how they interpret and enforce them.
 
If you run an agency, make sure EVERY person in your agency who is going to create ads for clients takes and passes that Blueprint course.
 
If your client is going to write ads, then make it a condition of your agency continuing to work with them that they also take and pass the Facebook Blueprint course.

If you don't do that then you could lose your entire business because of one rogue, persistent offender on the client side.
 
What else do you do to ensure your ad accounts don't get shut down by Facebook?
 
Have you had success in getting ad accounts reinstated?
 
Did I miss anything off?
 
Would love to hear your thoughts.
Jim Banks

Written by Jim Banks

Jim Banks is the CEO of Spades Media. A keynote speaker who has worked with over 1000 businesses. Helped generate over 2 million leads for B2B companies and over $1.6 billion in ecommerce sales.