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Facebook Ad Review Process: Just The Facts

June 3, 2021 Sarah Cavill

In late May, Facebook published a post on Facebook for Business by Jeff King, VP, Business Integrity at Facebook, explaining its ad review process. The post gave a general summary of the Facebook ad review process, including advertiser responsibilities and how to meet Facebook ad standards. The post, “Breaking Down Facebook’s Ad Review Process,” offers transparency to advertisers and consumers, particularly as Facebook continues to be scrutinized for the ads it does and does not approve. 

Why Did Facebook Choose To Share More About Its Ad Review Process?

“How we review ads across Facebook apps and services is a common topic of interest among businesses and people who use Facebook, and we want advertisers to understand our policies and how our enforcement system works,” explains King in the post. It’s also likely Facebook wanted to create more knowledge and understanding around the ad review process because of ongoing questions about what ads Facebook allows on its platform. 

In November 2020, Facebook banned political ads in an attempt to stop the spread of misinformation, only recently ending the policy and allowing political campaigns to advertise again. By publishing and promoting the ad review post, Facebook can point advertisers, and the public, to its clearly spelled out ad approval process.

What Is Facebook’s Ad Review Process?

Before any ads can run on Facebook, the ads undergo an automatic review against Facebook’s advertising policies. Facebook explains, “The ad review system reviews ads for violations of our Advertising Policies. This review process may include the specific components of an ad, such as images, video, text and targeting information, as well as an ad’s destination, among other information. An ad's destination is where an ad directs people who click on the ad, such as a web page.” Once the review of an ad compared to Facebook advertising policies is complete, an ad will be approved to run or not. 

King also notes that, typically, Facebook avoids ads that include “profanity, show excessive nudity or include misinformation.” Ads must also meet the community standards and guidelines of Facebook and Instagram, depending on where the ads run. Marketplace ads are subject to Facebook’s commerce policies

How Do Advertisers Impact Whether An Ad Is Approved By The Facebook Ad Review Process?

An advertisers’ past behavior can impact whether an ad is approved or even whether the advertiser is allowed to advertise on Facebook at all. “Beyond reviewing individual ads, we may also review and investigate advertiser behavior, like the number of previous ad rejections and the severity of the type of violation, including attempts to get around our ad review process. Advertisers who violate our policies may have actions taken against them, including losing the ability to run ads on Facebook,” explains King. 

Facebook also relies on its users to report advertisers that may violate Facebook policies, using these user reports to improve ad review processes and, if necessary, re-review ads for approval. Additionally, changes to “targeting, creative (for example, images, text, links or videos), optimization or billing event” for scheduled or running ads or ad sets will trigger a “new review process.”

How Long Does The Facebook Ad Review Process Take Place?

Advertisers should expect a 24-hour turnaround for the Facebook ad review process, but there can be delays. King explains that “ads about social issues, elections or politics have an increased level of authenticity and transparency,” but he does not say that they take any longer to approve. 

What Can Advertisers Do If An Ad Is Rejected By The Facebook Ad Review Process?

If an advertiser is faced with an ad rejected by the Facebook ad review process, that advertiser can make a new ad, revising the aspects that didn’t meet Facebook’s standards or starting from scratch. If a brand or business feels that an ad was unfairly rejected, they can request another review. Although Facebook relies primarily on automated technology and machine learning for its ad reviews, typically human reviewers are responsible for “re-review requests from advertisers.” King acknowledges that the Facebook ad review process is not perfect, but believes that, with more data and feedback from advertisers and users, the ad review process will continue to improve. 

For advertisers, the more knowledge about what meets Facebook standards and how to pass the ad review process, the better they are able to create campaigns and ads that resonate with Facebook audiences. 

Reference Links To Facebook Advertising Policies

Facebook Advertising Policies

Facebook Community Standards

Community Guidelines | Instagram 

Facebook Commerce Policies

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Digital Media Solutions® (DMS) is a leading technology-enabled, data-driven digital performance advertising solutions provider connecting consumers and advertisers. DMS spends millions of dollars each month to advertise across digital channels, including Facebook and Instagram, resulting in dedicated customer service from many of these platforms. Contact DMS today to learn how spending power and media channel insights can help you maximize the results of your digital advertising efforts.

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Senior Marketing Communications Writer, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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