Facebook Ad Disapproved - What To Do Now

Yesterday I published a comprehensive introduction to Instagram advertising.

In this post I shared some of the lessons I've learnt over the last few years and showed you how to launch a first campaign.

Of course Instagram is owned by Facebook and campaign management as well as dispute resolution is handled through Facebook's Ad Manager.

So whether you're running Facebook or Instagram Ads, the disapproval and review process always happens through Facebook.

When a Facebook or Instagram Ad is disapproved, you'll receive an Email like this:

Unfortunately, Facebook disapproving ads has become a regular occurrence - especially for the financial services industry.

So don't panic and don't get annoyed. Grab a coffee and put on some Nora Jones.

Dealing with Facebook's disapproval doesn't have to be hard.

Let's figure this thing out.

Why was your Facebook Ad Disapproved?

When you receive a notification, either by Email or via Facebook, to inform you that an Ad has been disapproved, head over to your Facebook Ad manager.

Under the "Campaigns" tab you'll see a number of columns - the second one saying "Delivery" and the status set at "Not approved."

If your campaign is not approved, you will not receive impressions or clicks until you fix the issue.

As you know by now, Facebook (like Adwords) splits campaigns into three important parts:

  1. Campaign - This is where you define the objective, set a spending limit and decide on your bidding type.
  2. Ad Set - Use this to set your daily budget, and create your audience.
  3. Ad - This is where you upload your creatives, pick your platforms and decide on messaging.

The reason I bring this up, is because it will help you understand the reason why your Facebook ad was disapproved.

In the top left corner of your Ads Manager, click on the red triangle to see where the problem is.

Next, head over to where the fire is burning. You'll see an error message like this:

Now you've found the reason for why your Facebook Ad was disapproved.

How do you reverse the decision?

How to get your Facebook Ad approved

Getting your Facebook Ads approved is more of an art than a science. Your experience will vary by:

  1. Language - I've made the experience that English and German campaigns are treated somewhat differently. Typically the review process is quicker in English but I've had fewer Ads disapproved when running German campaigns. Therefore the language of your campaign/ad set/ad seems to impact the speed and diligence of the review process.
  2. Reason for disapproval - Facebook can disapprove your campaign for a variety of different reasons. In my case it was because the Ad contained rhetorical questions. In other cases it might be because the campaign is seen to promote financial products (cryptocurrencies for example) which could pose a risk to their users.
  3. Your track record - The social media giant carefully tracks your behaviour and will suspend your account if you fall foul of their advertising policies. If you've been given a warning there is a good chance that your campaign has to undergo more scrutiny than one coming from an account with a clean track record.

In our case, the Ad has been disapproved which mean we either:

  1. Change the Ad and re-submit the campaign OR
  2. If you think your Ad does not violate Facebook's policies you should request a review.

For accounts with a clean bill of health and running English campaigns, the review process is usually impressively quick. Expect to hear back within a couple of hours.

To appeal the disapproval click on the "Request Review" button shown above. A dialogue box will pop open:

I've had positive experiences by selecting "Ad follows policy" and explaining my reasoning in the text box. I try to be polite, informative and concise.

Then click "Send".

You'll now be taken to your Facebook support in box.

Interestingly, the appeal is usually approved within minutes. For minor violations (like rhetorical questions in the Ad) Facebook seems to apply - at least initially - an automated approval process.

You'll receive a notification by email as well as on Facebook. Follow the link to be taken back to your inbox and likely you'll see a message like this:

If your Ad is still not approved, it's absolutely worth putting your point across again.

In my experience, if you politely explain why you think the Ad should be approved Facebook will listen.

Here is a brief conversation I had when a campaign got disapproved for promoting my ICO marketing checklist.

This worked. A few hours later my campaign was live.

Conclusion - What to do when your Facebook Ad is disapproved

Facebook has shown itself to be reasonable and fast when it comes to the review process.

Yes, it's frustrating to see a campaign get disapproved but it's good that the social media behemoth is protecting its users.

Submitting a request for review works more often than not - especially if you stay polite and concise.

Keep in mind that most of Facebook's reviews seem to be automated and it's not worth getting upset about.

If you stay classy, Facebook will let you advertise.