Facebook Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)

Why Facebook Ads Get Disapproved? (and What You Can Do About It)

Since Facebook is still one of the largest social channels in the world, it is still interesting for companies and organizations to use this network for marketing purposes. Online advertising plays a major role here. But Facebook can reject your ad. You can read the main reasons for this in this article.


Before an advertisement goes live, there are a number of steps that you have to go through. Think of choosing an objective, a target group, the budget to be spent and the layout of the advertisement. In this last step, the choice is often made for an image with text linked to it.

Checking procedure from Facebook

Facebook does not just approve all ads. The advertisements first go through a verification procedure that checks whether the ad in question complies with the advertising policy of the platform. It is important to know how the control process of Facebook looks exactly. We look at the image, text, target group and positioning of the advertisement. We also look at the contents of the landing page. This page must fully work and match what is promoted in the ad. When an advertisement is scheduled, Facebook tries to assess it as quickly as possible – preferably within 24 hours. If the ad is approved, the ad will be displayed.

To prevent Facebook from disapproving your ads, it is good to know the possible reasons for rejection. It can be very annoying if your ad is refused. Of course, it may be that an advertisement does not fully comply with the advertising policy. In this way, Facebook protects the users of their platform against advertisements that are offensive, intimidating or even punishable. The system is very sensitive in that respect.

Protection against fake news

In addition, Facebook tries to protect the users of the platform against fake news. This has been a problem in the online world for a long time. Many fake messages are placed that are accepted as true by the recipients. To reduce this problem, Facebook uses ‘fact checkers’. These are people who check the news for the truth. By working together with this, Facebook can, in its own words, reduce messages that are labeled as fake news by 80 percent.


It is Facebook’s right not to show certain advertisements to the public. There is, however, one major disadvantage when an ad is disapproved. Facebook does not show (yet) how you can solve the problem around a disapproved ad. So besides that, you spend time planning a ‘bad’ advertisement, you also spend quite a bit of time trying to figure out the core of the problem.

After some searching, it appears that there are all sorts of reasons why an advertisement can be rejected.

1. The ad identifies personal characteristics

One of the most important guidelines that are reflected in Facebook’s policy is that you can not name personal characteristics in an advertisement. Think of assertions, directly or indirectly, that relate to a person’s race, origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, medical condition, financial status and so on.

When placing an advertisement it is important that the service or the product is also described or shown. It is not allowed to refer to a specific person or target group or to use the word ‘different’ to refer to a personal characteristic. Also suggesting the just mentioned personal characteristics is not allowed according to the policy of Facebook.

How is it not allowed and how is it allowed?

However, this sounds simpler than it is. Everything revolves around expressing personal characteristics. It is very important to check your ad language technically, to avoid disapproval. To better map this, the table below contains a few examples of how you can say something and how you can better not say certain things.

On this page you will find an overview of all personal characteristics that Facebook strictly supervises, with examples mentioned.

2. The advertisement incorrectly uses a trademark

Some ads attempt to use the name Facebook, including the brands that are part of this social platform, for commercial purposes. For example: if you advertise a Facebook marketing course, you can hardly avoid the word ‘Facebook’. You can use it in that case, but only to a limited extent. You can not suggest that there is a partnership. What is also not allowed is to use or modify the logo of Facebook for example . A brand must remain as it is and therefore not be conjugated or written differently.

This also applies to other brands. You can just communicate about it, as long as you leave the mark in its value and are not tied to any commercial goals. That is to say: outsiders should not think that it is a commercial bond. This way you could benefit from a different brand, or the reputation of a brand is compromised. Someone may just communicate about his or her own brand. When registering a trademark, the proprietor gets certain rights regarding this trademark.

3. The advertisement contains sexually oriented content

What also regularly creates confusion, are images that are not suitable for the younger users of the platform Facebook. It is not allowed to run ads that contain sexually oriented content. Think of images that contain naked, where sexual attitudes and activities can be seen, or images that are sexually challenging.

Even artistic nude is not allowed

Opinions can of course still differ when it comes to sexuality. One person finds certain things sexually tinged rather than another. To ensure that there is no confusion about this, Facebook has strict guidelines regarding sexually oriented content. For example, nudity is not allowed, even if it is meant to be artistic. The same applies to a deep neckline or zooming in on breasts, buttocks and abdominal muscles.

4. The ad contains too much text


Another issue that you have to take into account is the amount of text used in the image. An image may contain a maximum of 20 percent text. This has to do with the fact that image works better than text. Less text and more image make an advertisement more interesting. In this way, Facebook ensures that the users of their platform see as many advertisements as possible that are of high quality and have added value. To check whether an image meets this requirement, you can load the image material via a control tool. Facebook then links one of the following scores to your image: OK, low, medium or high.

Less text and more image makes an advertisement more interesting.

Text above the advertisement does not count

This is purely and exclusively about the image text. This is the text that is present in the image. Logos are also counted as text. The amount of ad text, the text written above the ad, is not counted. If an image contains more text than Facebook advises, there is a chance that the advertisement will be shown to fewer people. In this way, Facebook tries to “punish” the creator of that ad and make sure that everyone adheres to the guidelines for the amount of text in an image.

Bright spot: a little more clarity

After this list of points that all should be taken into account when planning an advertisement, there is also a small bright spot to report. Facebook has announced that there will be an adjustment in the advertising management. They will soon communicate why an advertisement is exactly disapproved. Previously, only the general policy was referred to, but now the subject will also be mentioned. By giving more transparency and clarity from Facebook, this ensures that online marketers can make better and faster adjustments and work more efficiently.

Do you have additions? Leave them behind with the comments, I’m curious!

About the author


Vikram is a Digital Media Strategy Consultant who helps small business owners grow their
business. He is passionate about blogging, digital marketing, and emerging technologies.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment