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Rachel Palmateer

By Rachel Palmateer

Nov 13, 2019


Social Media Marketing Facebook Marketing Paid Media
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Social Media Marketing  |   Facebook Marketing  |   Paid Media

Facebook Ads help: Why do my ads keep getting rejected?

Rachel Palmateer

By Rachel Palmateer

Nov 13, 2019

Facebook Ads help: Why do my ads keep getting rejected?

Facebook has roughly 2.4 billion active monthly users and roughly 3 million active advertisers that it’s trying to keep happy. 

To maintain a balance between the marketed-to and the marketers, a strict set of advertising policies is in place. If your ad breaks any of the rules, it runs the risk of being rejected or severely under-served.

Let’s jump into a few of the top guideline violations that will get your ad rejected.

1. Facebook ad images

If you have advertised on Facebook for any length of time you are familiar with the dreaded 20% rule and the terrible little grid of squares that controlled the destiny of your ad images. 

The good news earlier this year was that the 20% rule was going away. But it didn’t go all the way away. 

Our friends over at Instapage sum it up nicely when they say that “an ad won’t be outright rejected if it contains more than 20% text, but it will have its reach limited — in some cases significantly.”

In other words, more text = smaller reach.

This is to ensure that Facebook users aren’t subjected to a feed of spammy-looking ads every time they pop on to see what their friends and family have been up to.

If you’re adding text to your ad images, you need to be using Facebook’s text overlay tool to be sure that your ads are as qualified as possible for maximum reach.

2. Ad image is irrelevant to offer

While you do want to be sure to use engaging, “thumbstopping” images in your ads, you need to make sure that the imagery chosen corresponds with the offer you’re advertising. 

Remember that Facebook is trying to create an enjoyable experience for users. Glaringly obvious and visually “loud” ads will stand out and cause the user experience to feel more like standing in Times Square than spending a few moments on a social sharing platform, so such ads are rejected or their reach is limited.

time square ad clutter

3. Improper copyright usage

The perfect ad photo may surface right when you need it. Maybe that famous person posts a candid with your product in her hand. Maybe that hot band jumps up and down on one of your couches in their music video. 

Resist the urge to grab it just because it’s out there.  

Get permission. Follow copyright rules. If you don’t, Facebook will not approve your ad to run. 

And it’s not just images. If you’re running a video ad, make sure the music you’ve chosen is okay to be used.

4. Improper grammar, using ALL CAPS, and substituting numbers 4 letters

The Chick-fil-A cows and their shabby command of the English language do just fine on billboards. 


But if you’re trying to advertise on Facebook, don’t be like those cows. 

While it’s tempting to yell into the billion-user void with huge capital letters or try to sneakily reduce character count in your image copy by substituting letters for numbers, it’s best to resist.

If you want to maximize your reach and have your ad delivered at a consistent rate, you need to play by Facebook’s rules. 

5. Ad copy is too specific to an individual

Targeting specific types of people online and trying to sneak information about your brand into their lives is creepy. 

The challenge is to be as not-creepy as possible, while being as relevant and relatable as you can. 

To help enforce this, Facebook does not allow ad copy that targets individuals. 

Obviously, “Hey Jennie Brown, check out this phone case!” is too personal. 

But there is a nuance that trips advertisers up when using the words “your” and “other.”

Andrew Hubbard has a great graphic that helps illustrate appropriate and inappropriate uses of each. 


If your ad uses “your” or “other” in a similar way, it may be wise to write up a few other options to work with.

6. Ad copy makes unrealistic claims

A diet pill will not make you lose 50 pounds the moment you click to purchase it. A pair of sneakers will not guarantee that you win a marathon. Blue light glasses will not make you ace all of your college exams. 

Making unrealistic claims in ads is good for no one — especially the Facebook end-user, whom the platform is trying to keep engaged.

Focusing on real solutions with real results will ensure that users who are actually interested in your product are clicking your ad, which will give you a more accurate read on the effectiveness of your advertising. 

It will also save your customer service team from a lot of ugly conversations and emails from disappointed or upset customers who were fooled into purchasing because of unrealistic ad copy. 

7. Display URL doesn’t match destination page

If the display URL — the one you choose to display with your ad — doesn’t go to the same website as the link your ad brings people to upon click, Facebook may reject the ad.

This is to ensure that users get the experience they are expecting when they click on an ad. By consistently aligning expectation and experience, Facebook makes sure that users continue to trust the ads they see on the platform — a benefit for users and marketers alike. 

Planning for success

If your ad is rejected, you’re not alone. 

Facebook’s approvals can be finicky at times, but proper planning can go a long way in reducing frustration should one of your ads be rejected. 

Adjusting copy and creative for a rejected ad can be an especially daunting task if there’s unusual pressure to perform, like on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so be sure to plan ahead for high-stakes times.

First, have backup ads that you can submit instead of troubleshooting and reworking a rejected ad. This will expedite the process of getting a new ad in the queue for approval. 

Second, get your ads created and submitted with a healthy amount of time to spare before the ads need to go live. The buffer time gives you wiggle room for all the “just in case” scenarios that come with advertising on a third party platform.

Just in case Facebook goes down while your ads are queued for review. 

Just in case someone in the industry launches before you and you want to launch early as well. 

Just in case…

Determine all the “just in case” moments for your industry and plan ahead for them. It will strengthen your ad strategy and ensure that you’re able to take action and drive toward your revenue goals as planned. 

And remember, just in case you need assistance creating ads that don’t get rejected by Facebook, we’re here for you. Give us a shout and we’ll connect you with our in-house experts who are happy to chat Facebook Ads optimization and strategy for any industry.

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