FaceBook Flyers: How to Get Banned in Minutes

Facebook’s new Flyers Pro pay-per-click ads have got a lot of affiliates excited (see exhibits A, B and C).

The good news is Facebook have dropped their nonsensical $50/day ad spend cap. The bad news is it’s still super-simple to get banned and have your ad account disabled without playing dirty.

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Late last night, I placed an ad for a prize draw sponsored by a well-known alcohol brand. The ads were shown only to UK users old enough to buy booze. The ad was disapproved. That’s fine; Facebook have every right to moderate ads on their site.

The kicker? It’s in three parts:

1) Facebook refuse to explain why an ad is disapproved (I later learned they disallow alcohol ads).

2) Facebook’s advertiser guidelines (PDF) are only displayed once you’ve had an ad disapproved. There are no guidelines for new advertisers.

3) One disapproved ad puts you well on the way to a ban.

Ergo there is no way for a new advertiser to understand Facebook’s advertising rules without inadvertently breaking them. And breaking the rules puts your Facebook Flyers Pro account at risk.

As far as I am aware, I did not breach any of Facebook’s other advertising guidelines. Yet in the early hours of this morning my Facebook ad account was disabled with this message:

“An error has occurred. Your account has been disabled. Generally, we disable an account if too many of its ads violate our Terms of Service or Advertising Guidelines. All of your ads have been stopped and should not be run again on the site under any circumstances. Unfortunately we cannot provide you with the specific violations that have been deemed abusive. Please review our Terms and Guidelines if you have further questions.”

My advice? Read Facebook’s advertising guidelines (PDF) very, very closely. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s banned by Facebook:

  • Adult content
  • Profanity, vulgarity and obscenity
  • Defamatory, libelous or slanderous content
  • Content that infringes upon the rights of any third party (eg, copyright, trademarks)
  • Liquor, beer, wine, tobacco products or firearms
  • Gambling
  • Inflammatory religious content
  • Politically religious agendas
  • Political content that exploits political agendas for commercial use
  • Hate speech
  • Illegal activity
  • Content from uncertified pharmacies;
  • Web cams or surveillance equipment for non-legitimate use
  • “Spam” or other advertising that violates applicable laws
  • Web-based non-accredited colleges that offer degrees
  • Credit card applications

Keep a close eye on the T+Cs, since the wording of these has changed since last night.

PS. The question everyone asks is “Does Facebook traffic convert”? My answer: Damn right, if you are smart with what you promote (ie, Facebook users aren’t shopping for mortgages).

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