Facebook Resilience: What to do about rejected ads


Love it or loathe it, Facebook is the undisputed leader of social advertising. With 2.91 billion users the platform has the potential to reach 36.8% of the entire population of the world and Facebook claim that 72.5% of their total 2.91 billion are active users.

As an ecommerce business, advertising on the platform is vital. However there are many challenges and frustrations with Facebook advertising.

To help you navigate the ins and outs of the platform, our team of Performance Marketing experts have created a Facebook resilience guide with the best advice for solving your problems fast and effectively.

In this blog we will cover the topic of rejected ads on Facebook. Rejected ads are a drain on time and resources and let’s face it, a total pain! In order to save you time and prevent future rejections of your ads, we’re going to cover the most common reasons why they happen, what you can do about it, and how to avoid it in the future.

How do Facebook ads work?

The first thing to highlight is how the review process actually works. 

Typically, an automatic system will evaluate your advertisement. This system checks to see if your advertisement complies with Facebook’s advertising guidelines. The content of your advertisement, including the wording and creative, as well as your targeting and the landing page to which you are sending traffic, are then taken into consideration. 

In the rare event that the technology is unable to detect the status of your ad, it might occasionally be forwarded for manual review. Your audience will see your advertisement on the day you’ve chosen for it to appear if it passes this review process and enters the delivery system. However, you can still complete the steps listed below if it is rejected.

The average turnaround time for this process is around 24 hours, however there are a few things to consider that could affect your schedule. For instance, it could take a lot longer if an advertisement needs to be manually approved.  We suggest complying as closely as you can to the advertising policies in terms of copy, content, graphics, and video in order to avoid this.

The time of year and the account history are two additional variables that may affect the approval time. If you are running advertisements for the first time, we advise sending the ad for review a few days before you intend for it to go live to allow for the extra time.

Accounts that have run campaigns in the past without rejections tend to have a faster review time than new accounts. Finally, even though the system is automated, Black Friday and Christmas tend to increase app use during Q4, so you should allow extra time in case the system becomes overloaded and the review process becomes delayed.

Why do Facebook ads get rejected?

Unfortunately the answer to this is not simple. There are a long list of possibilities why Facebook ads get rejected.

We have put together a list of the most common reasons that we have seen ads get rejected. It’s important to be aware of these reasons so that you will be able to prevent these problems from affecting your future ads. The good news is that most of these issues are relatively simple fixes.

The most common reasons for ads getting rejected are:

Prohibited content:

This following list is never allowed to be advertised on the platform. If your ad includes any of the items from this list, there is nothing you can do to stop it from being rejected: 

Illegal products or services

Tobacco, E-Cigarettes,Vapes

Discriminatory practices against race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity

Weapons, ammunition or explosives

Adult products or services 

Some financial services like cryptocurrencies 

Profanity and bad grammar 

Restricted content:

The following topics are allowed to be advertised on Facebook. However there are additional policies you must follow in order for them to run successfully:

Alcohol

Online gambling or gaming

Online pharmacies and prescription drugs

Dating services

Subscription services

Cosmetic procedures

Financial and insurance products or services

Ads with content on politics, social issues or elections

To comply with the policy and pass review, you must adhere to each of these issues’ unique rules, which you should read up on in more detail. To advertise alcohol, for instance, you must make sure the audience is over the local legal drinking age. 

Some additional factors to consider:

Personal attributes:

Ads may not state or imply anything on a person’s race, ethnicity, religion, beliefs, age, sexual orientation or practices, gender identity, physical or mental health condition, financial situation, union membership, criminal history, or other personal characteristics. You cannot identify a user directly in your ad, for example by saying: ‘Shop mobility care items that other customers in their 70’s are using today!’.

Non-existent functionality policy:

Ads cannot feature images of unusable functionality. This includes advertising with features that don’t function, like multiple choice options in the ad creative itself, as well as graphics that mimics play buttons, notifications, or checkboxes.

How to fix rejected Facebook ads?

You have two options to fix rejected Facebook ads. You can edit your advertising to comply with the guideline you broke, or submit an appeal to have the decision reconsidered and have your ads submitted for manual review.

How to request a review of your rejected Facebook ad?

Start by visiting your ‘Account Quality Page’, select the ad account that you would like to review, and within this section you will see the ad/ads that have been rejected along with the various stages of the review process. 

Simply check the box next to the advertisement and click the “request review” button. It will go through the manual review procedure after being submitted to Facebook. You will then have to wait for your ad to be reviewed, and there is no specific timeline as to how long this process will take, but you will be able to continuously check on its progress from inside this same location. 

If the ad passes the review, you will see it pop up in the ‘reversed’ tab, but if the process was unsuccessful, the ad will appear in the ‘unchanged’ tab.

An important point to note is that Facebook claims that requesting reviews will not damage the reputation of your account, and that both the automated system and the manual reviews are subject to error.

If your ad is rejected after this process, there is nothing you can do to set it live again. We would advise you to create a copy of the ad and analyse all factors outlined above, make sure you are adhering to the various policies and try the process again with a new and improved version of your ad.

Mastering Facebook ads for your store

We understand that ecommerce and marketing teams are busy keeping up with all the different facets of their marketing strategy and as a result resourcing specialists across all these different areas is just not possible. Our Performance Marketing team at StudioForty9 are here to offer the deep sector expertise you need to optimise your performance across each channel. 

Talk to us about enhancing your business’ performance across email marketing, social media and PPC. Contact info@studioforty9.com for more information.

Photos by Brett Jordan | JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Hollie Piper
Hollie Piper |