Understanding Why Your Facebook Ads Got Rejected

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Have you ever created a Facebook or Instagram campaign only to see a huge red banner saying your ad was not approved? Worse yet, maybe you ran a campaign which ended in your account being permanently suspended?

In today’s article, I’m going to go over why your ads get rejected on Facebook and Instagram.

Breaking the Terms and Conditions

Facebook has a number of policies and terms and conditions that you must follow and abide by when using their self-service ad platform, they include:  

These rules pretty much state how you should be presenting your business on Facebook and how to manage your custom audiences. That means no false, misleading or fraudulent content or services.

Their rules also state that you can only be in management of one advertiser or client per ad account, many people overlook this and have several accounts they use to serve ads.

Data and privacy protection

Another barrier that gets advertisers banned on Facebook and Instagram is not keeping user data safe. You can have your ads or account banned for doing any of the following:

  • Selling user data
  • Sharing advertising data with third-parties
  • Using Facebook ad data to create or augment user profiles
  • Taking advantage of user data without consent or breaking laws

With the introduction of lead ads late last year, more advertisers are getting hit with data and privacy bans because they aren’t keeping user data safe. If you’re ever unsure about an ad or whether you may be breaking Facebook’s T&C, ask a professional bet yet, ask MuteSix.

Ad creative

You know by now that the more creative you get with your ads, the more likely your audience is to engage. However, there’s a fine line between what you can and cannot do with your ads.

Most Facebook ads typically get rejected because they make any of the following mistakes:

  • Use more than 20% of text in images
  • Advertise products that are illegal
  • Advertise alcohol products to audiences where it is illegal
  • Creatives that are not relevant to the product or service on offer
  • Use of poor grammar and spelling
  • Sexual content or content that suggests sexual behavior
  • Using numbers, symbols and letters outside of their actual meaning
  • Misrepresentation of a product or service
  • Use of flash images and audio without a user’s interaction first
  • Setting up dating site ads and disregarding  stringent Facebook guidelines
  • Taking race, age, sexual orientation, religion, name, health or other personal data into the creative copy
  • Directing users to a webpage that is poorly designed or not working correctly
  • Leading users to pages with pop-ups
  • Before and after images, will usually get disapproved

Facebook Ad Don'ts

These are the most common areas advertisers slip up on. Since the context of some of the reasons above can be very subjective (for example, suggestions of sexually suggestive images) it’s very easy to see your ad rejected for any of the above without you even knowing why.

Facebook Ad Rejection

Context of the ad

The context of an ad is the message you’re sending to your audience. All ads must comply with the following:

  • Not to offend anyone
  • Cannot be false, deceptive or misleading (i.e lose 40lbs in 7-days)
  • Prove any claims made
  • Not violate the rights of others
  • Not promote anything illegal
  • Cannot promote dating sites which suggestion any sexual indication
  • Cannot promote tobacco, prescription drugs, drugs or weapons
  • Cannot promote links to viruses, spyware or malware
  • Not be spam
  • Gambling ads are only approved in specific countries and must be approved by Facebook first
  • Offline gambling ads are allowed if they are targeting users in areas where the law is not being broken
  • Cannot promote any alcohol related products in restricted countries
  • Cannot promote software that performs tasks the user is unaware of
  • Links to websites that contain automatic downloads
  • No promotion of multi-level-marketing or other money making schemes

You may also see your ads stopped if you promote pharmacy related products including dietary, herbal supplements or contraception. This is up to Facebook and I strongly recommend contacting them before you decide to promote any product where you base the context of the message on helping others mentally or physically.

Dating sites are another gray area and again I highly recommend you contact Facebook before creating an ad using their self-service platform.


Community rules are based on user feedback or how your ads impact others. For example, you can expect your ad to get stopped or your account banned if:

  • Your ad receives a lot of negative feedback
  • Your ad violates Facebook’s community standards
  • You promote illegal products or services
  • Your ad insults or bullies any sub-set of people
  • Includes hate speech, sex, nudity or suggestions of any of the former
  • Contains click-bait or violent content
  • Ads to minors that are not suitable
  • Impersonate another brand or person

These community rules are typically broken when advertisers attempt to shock their audience using click-bait.

More Facebook Ad Don'ts

Leverage the Facebook brand for social proofing

Novice advertisers often make claims that the are endorsed or in partnership with Facebook. Just because you have a Facebook Page or run ads on Facebook does not mean you’re in any kind of partnership.

Avoid mentioning Facebook anywhere on your ad copy unless it’s in the correct context (i.e a blog post showing how to use a feature on Facebook). You can learn more here about how to use the Facebook brand in your campaigns.

Mentioning Facebook Ads in Your Ads


Finally, if you steal other people’s content you may violate Facebook ads. This includes:

  • Breaking copyright or trademark laws
  • Interfering with someone’s privacy
  • Violating or impeding the rights of others


Facebook does have the right to reject any ad for any reason they see fit.  So even if you don’t think you’re breaking any of the rules above there is a chance your ad still will not be shown.

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