How to avoid Facebook banning your ad account and what to do if it happens

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Our main Facebook ad account got shut down a couple weeks ago. Again.

For those who share our pain, you must know that it’s rare to get it back.

Appealing to Facebook doesn’t work.

Contacting support?

Fruitless.

Even when you are spending a million dollars a month and have a Facebook rep.

They won’t tell you why or give you a second chance.

So, you try making another ad account. But that gets shut down quickly, too, since they can match your name, credit card, IP address, and other information to the banned account.

You can get clever and run through a proxy, but they will still know it’s you.

Maintenance and prevention are far easier than repair.

Here’s my take from one of my recent Facebook posts,

“Ever feel like Facebook exercises a double standard amongst some of their advertisers?

People come to me all the time saying their ads or accounts got shut down for using the word ‘you’ or other phrases calling out their audience.

Yet, I do this all the time on posts I run as ads.

Why can I do this?

Let’s use the example above to understand how this works.

Consider why ‘you’ can be offensive in some, but not all cases.

Certainly, when you call people out for having a problem, disease, or condition.

For example, ‘Your acne is not your fault.’

Or, ‘When you drink, you’re more than 835% more likely to hurt someone.’

But when I say, ‘Do you know that Relevance Score impacts the price of your Facebook ads?’ I get the green light..

But how does Facebook make these judgements?

While it’s impossible that a human reviews every single ad from all 2.5 million advertisers on the platform, they do have a system that prioritizes which ads should go into a manual review queue.

This is called ‘progressive whitelisting.’ Bad behaving accounts are more likely to get their ads reviewed, as well as ads that meet obvious, red-flag  trigger conditions. The same goes for ads that get a lot of negative feedback. You can imagine why Facebook would automatically bump these up in review priority.”

 

The ads that are manually reviewed get disapproved more often because it’s easier to see ad history and negative feedback, whereas a computer trying to check ads does not.

Still, their review process can seem inconsistent at times.

That’s because the 5,000 people manually checking ads only have a few seconds per ad. This is why ads often get disapproved and then reinstated after being appealed. Mistakes are made.

So, don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because you got one ad through that it’s “okay.”  Facebook doesn’t have the bandwidth to manually look at every ad. So many bad ads get through and many good ads get disapproved.

The best way to avoid Facebook’s judgment is to have a partner manager, a senior rep, submit your ads for Facebook to whitelist. It’s much easier to have Facebook’s team review your ads than to recover a disabled account.

For the foreseeable future, Facebook is going to buckle down on ad restrictions and negative feedback on ads. However, the advertising TOS changes all the time.

For example, Facebook recently banned crypto ads and LDA, legal drinking age, ads. The rules are different by industry, so there’s no “one size fits all.”

Our friend, Nicholas Kusmich, states, “It’s important to note that most of the ad account shutdowns are happening to DIRECT RESPONSE marketers implementing strategies on a platform (Facebook) that doesn’t allow for it.”

Your best bet is to avoid getting banned in the first place. Know the rules and don’t push your luck.

The most common reasons people get banned are for having before/after pictures, making unrealistic promises of riches (called “biz opp”), promoting products with dubious health value, selling medical marijuana or vapes, or being overly aggressive in network marketing.  Make sure you steer clear of these gray areas, and keep up with Facebook’s official guidelines.

Luckily, we are still operating, even with our main ad account shut down, because we preemptively created a second ad account and linked our pages where we boost posts.

You should create a second ad account in your Business Manager- BEFORE you get shut down.

Nicholas explains that we should pay attention to the ad, ad account, and landing pages. Facebook reviews all of these elements when approving or disapproving ads.

Landing pages cannot have 404 errors, interfere with people navigating away, or automatically begin file downloads.

So, what should you do if your account is banned or disabled?

Investigate. Find out why. Prevent it from happening again.

Notify your clients of Facebook’s policy changes, and keep them in the loop. They should understand these guidelines as well.

Keep your employees informed of what’s allowed. Even reliable, honest employees can make mistakes.

Get on Facebook’s good side, and stay there.

Your long-term strategy should be to allocate your spend only against your “winners” so you’ll always have high relevancy and never get disapproved.

Maintenance > Damage and repair.

 

 

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About Dennis Yu

Dennis Yu is the Chief Technology Officer of BlitzMetrics. He is an internationally recognized lecturer in Facebook marketing, having been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, National Public Radio, TechCrunch, Fox News, and CBS Evening News. He is also a regular contributor for Adweek's SocialTimes column. Dennis has held leadership positions at Yahoo! and American Airlines. He studied Finance and Economics from Southern Methodist University and London School of Economics. Besides being a Facebook data and ad geek, you can find him eating chicken wings or playing Ultimate Frisbee in a city near you. You can contact him at dennis@blitzmetrics.com, his blog, or on Facebook.