Facebook Advertising Guidelines
Advertising on Facebook is not recommend.
“The return is not there. Unless you’re selling apps or lead generation, I think Facebook ads are underwhelming. I see bad things ahead for the Facebook IPO and perhaps, rising dissatisfaction among clients.” — media buyer for American Apparel
Following are the official Facebook ad guidelines:
Facebook Advertising Guidelines
At Facebook, we believe that ads should contribute to and be consistent with the overall user experience. The best ads are those that are tailored to individuals based on how they and their friends interact and affiliate with the brands, artists, and businesses they care about. These guidelines are not intended to serve as legal advice and adherence to these guidelines does not necessarily constitute legal compliance. Advertisers are responsible for ensuring that their ads comply with all applicable laws, statutes, and regulations.
Additional examples and explanations to our policies can be found in the Help Center.
A. Our Advertising Guidelines consist of advertising content criteria, community standards, and other applicable requirements.
B. The Ad Guidelines, as well as our Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, apply to all ads and commercial content (“ads”) served by or appearing on Facebook (including ads purchased under AAAA/IAB Standard Terms and Conditions).
C. Advertising appearing within applications on Facebook Platform must comply with all additional Facebook Platform Policies.
D. Ads that are generated through Page posts, and ads that promote a sweepstakes, contest, competition or offer must also comply with the Pages Terms.
E. Ads must not contain false, misleading, fraudulent, or deceptive claims or content.
F. You may not manage more than one advertiser or client through a single ad account, and may not change the advertiser or client associated with an established ad account.
II. Data and Privacy
A. No data collected, derived or obtained from or in connection with a Facebook ad, including Facebook’s delivery of an ad, and Facebook users’ interaction with a Facebook-served ad (such as information derived from targeting criteria) (“Facebook advertising data”) may be received or used by an entity not acting on behalf of a Facebook advertiser.
B. You may not use Facebook advertising data for any purpose (including retargeting, commingling data across multiple advertisers’ campaigns, building or augmenting user profiles, or allowing piggybacking or redirecting with tags), except on an aggregate and anonymous basis to assess the performance and effectiveness of your Facebook advertising campaigns.
C. You may use information provided directly to you from users if you provide clear notice to and obtain consent from those users and comply with all applicable laws and industry guidelines.
D. You may not directly or indirectly transfer or sell any data to, or use such data in connection with any ad network, ad exchange, data broker, or other party not acting on behalf of an advertiser and the advertiser’s Facebook advertising campaigns. By indirectly we mean you cannot, for example, transfer data to a third party who then transfers the data to an ad network.
III. Ad Creative and Positioning
All components of an ad, including any text, images, or other media, must be relevant and appropriate to the product or service being offered and the audience viewing the ad. Ads may not contain audio or flash animation that plays automatically without a user’s interaction. Ads may not position products or services in a sexually suggestive manner. Ads may not contain content that exploits political agendas or “hot button” issues for commercial use. Additionally, ad text must include proper grammar and the use of all symbols, numbers, or letters must adhere to the true meaning of the symbol.
Ads must clearly represent the company, product, service, or brand that is being advertised. Products and services promoted in the ad copy must be clearly represented on the landing page, and the destination site may not offer or link to any prohibited product or service. Additionally, ads may not suggest false relevancy to generic offers.
Ad text may not assert or imply, directly or indirectly, within the ad content or by targeting, a user’s personal characteristics within the following categories:
i. race or ethnic origin;
ii. religion or philosophical belief;
iv. sexual orientation or sexual life;
v. gender identity;
vi. disability or medical condition (including physical or mental health);
vii. financial status or information;
viii. membership in a trade union; and
ix. criminal record.
C. Destination Sites
Ads must lead to a functioning landing page that does not interfere with a user’s ability to navigate away from the page.
Ads and sponsored stories that originate from Pages may not contain an image with the following text:
i. price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it on socialmusic.com”;
ii. contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section;
iii. references to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features; or
iv. calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”
Ads must always apply appropriate targeting and never use targeting criteria to provoke users. Ads for regulated goods and services (e.g. alcohol and gambling), must abide by all applicable laws, regulations, and industry codes. Specific requirements for dating services, alcohol, gambling, contraceptives and subscription services must adhere to the requirements listed in the Help Center under the applicable content sections.
IV. Ad Content
Advertisers must ensure that their ads comply with all applicable laws, regulations and guidelines. All claims in ads must be adequately substantiated. Ads must not offend users. Ads and any offers promoted within ads must not be false, deceptive or misleading or contain spam. Ads must not contain or promote illegal products or services. Ads must not violate the rights of any third parties. The following specific content guidelines apply:
A. Adult Products
Ads may not promote the sale or use of adult products or services, including but not limited to toys, videos, publications, live shows, or sexual enhancement products. Ads for family planning and contraception are allowed provided they follow the appropriate targeting requirements.
i. Ads that promote or reference alcohol are prohibited in the following countries: Afghanistan, Brunei, Bangladesh, Egypt, Gambia, Kuwait, Libya, Norway, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen and any other jurisdiction where such ads are prohibited by law.
ii. Where permissible, ads that promote or reference alcohol must: (i) Comply with all applicable local laws, required or recommended industry codes, guidelines, licenses and approvals and (ii) apply age and country targeting criteria consistent with Facebook’s targeting guidelines and applicable local laws. Where a user’s age or country cannot be determined, the ad must not be displayed to the user.
iii. Please refer to the Help Center for additional alcohol-specific guidance.
Ads for adult friend finders or dating sites with a sexual emphasis are not permitted. Ads for other online dating services must adhere to the dating targeting requirements and the name of the product or service must be included in the ad text or image.
D. Drugs and Tobacco
Ads may not promote or facilitate the sale or consumption of illegal or recreational drugs, tobacco products, or drug or tobacco paraphernalia.
E. Gambling and Lotteries
i. Ads that promote or facilitate online gambling, games of skill or lotteries, including online casino, sports books, bingo, or poker, are only allowed in specific countries with prior authorization from Facebook.
ii. Lotteries run by government entities may advertise on Facebook, provided that ads must be targeted in accordance with applicable law in the jurisdiction in which the ads will be served and may only target users in the jurisdiction in which the lottery is available.
iii. Ads that promote offline gambling establishments, such as offline casinos, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, are generally permitted, provided that ads must be appropriately targeted.
iv. Please refer to the Help Center for additional gambling-specific guidance.
F. Pharmaceuticals and Supplements
i. Ads must not promote the sale of prescription pharmaceuticals. Ads for online pharmacies are prohibited except that ads for certified pharmacies may be permitted with prior approval from Facebook.
ii. Ads that promote dietary and herbal supplements are generally permitted, provided they do not promote products containing anabolic steroids, chitosan, comfrey, dehydroepiandrosterne, ephedra, human growth hormones, melatonin, and any additional products deemed unsafe or questionable by Facebook in its sole discretion.
Ads may not contain or link directly or indirectly to a site that contains spyware/malware downloads or any software that results in an unexpected, deceptive or unfair user experience, including but not limited to software which:
i. “sneaks” onto a user’s system;
ii. performs activities hidden to the user;
iii. may alter, harm, disable or replace any hardware or software installed on a user’s computer without express permission from the user;
iv. is bundled as a hidden component of other software whether free or for an additional fee;
v. automatically downloads without Facebook’s express prior approval;
vi. presents download dialog boxes without a user’s action; or
vii. may violate or infringe upon the intellectual property rights of any third party, including copyright, trademark, patent or any other proprietary right.
H. Subscription Services
Ads for subscription services, or that promote products or services that include negative options, automatic renewal, free-to-pay conversion billing products, or mobile marketing are subject to the following requirements:
i. Ad text must clearly and conspicuously disclose the recurring billing component (e.g. “subscription required”).
ii. The landing page must:
a. display the price and billing interval wherever the user is prompted to enter personally identifiable information;
b. include an unchecked opt-in checkbox; and
c. include language informing users how to cancel their subscription or membership.
iii. Each of the foregoing must be located in a prominent place on your landing page, as determined by Facebook in its sole discretion, and should be easy to find, read, and understand.
I. Unacceptable Business Model
Ads may not promote a business model or practice that is deemed by Facebook in its sole discretion to be unacceptable or contrary to Facebook’s overall advertising philosophy or to any applicable law, including but not limited to multi-level marketing schemes, or advertisements for scams.
J. Weapons and Explosives
Ads may not promote the sale or use of weapons, ammunition, or explosives.
V. Community Standards
Ads, or categories of ads, that receive a significant amount of negative user feedback, or are otherwise deemed to violate our community standards, are prohibited and may be removed. In all cases, Facebook reserves the right in its sole discretion to determine whether particular content is in violation of our community standards.
A. Illegal Activity
Ads may not constitute, facilitate or promote illegal activity.
Ads may not insult, attack, harass, bully, threaten, demean or impersonate others.
C. Hate Speech
Ads may not contain “hate speech,” whether directed at an individual or a group, based on membership within certain categories. These categories include, but are not limited to, race, sex, creed, national origin, religious affiliation, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or language.
Ads that are targeted to minors may not promote products or services that are illegal for use by minors in their jurisdiction, or that are deemed to be unsafe or inappropriate.
Ads may not contain adult content, including nudity, depictions of people in explicit or suggestive positions, or activities that are overly suggestive or sexually provocative.
F. Shock Value
Ads may not be shocking, sensational or disrespectful, or portray excessive violence.
VI. Facebook References
Ads may not imply a Facebook endorsement or partnership of any kind. Ads linking to Facebook branded content (including Pages, groups, events, or Connect sites) may make limited reference to “Facebook” in ad text for the purpose of clarifying the destination of the ad. All other ads and landing pages may not use our copyrights or trademarks (including Facebook, the Facebook and F Logos, FB, Face, Poke, Book, and Wall) or any confusingly similar marks, except as expressly permitted by our Brand Usage Guidelines or with our prior written permission.
VII. Rights of Others
Ads may not include content that infringes upon or violates the rights of any third party, including copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity, or other personal or proprietary rights.
We reserve the right to reject, approve or remove any ad for any reason, in our sole discretion, including ads that negatively affect our relationship with our users or that promote content, services, or activities, contrary to our competitive position, interests, or advertising philosophy. These guidelines are subject to change at any time.