Facebook Ad Editors Causing Blood To Shoot Out My Eyes

Thanks Facebook Ad ElvesI though Google Adwords had cornered the market on vague and restrictive rules for advertising. Not so. Facebook advertising has turned into a complete joke. Their guidelines mean absolutely nothing, they turn off ads already approved and apparently ad editors arbitrarily disapprove ads for the same reason my cat vomits, that would be for any reason or no reason at all.

Let’s have a look at what a joke Facebook Ads are. Here are 3 ads of mine below that they approved:

Vote For Your Favorite

Now have a look at 2 ads that they didn’t approve:

Facebook Ads Disapproved

Does this make any sense? The first set of ads is a complete goof and the second set is advertising a legitimate product and a legitimate business opp offer without making any ridiculous promises or unrealistic income claims.

But it gets even more unbelievable. The worst part of this whole sideshow is that they must draw numbers out of a hat to decide which Facebook Ad Guidelines they’re going to tell you that you’ve violated as their reason for not letting them run. The ad above about saving 90 cents a gallon on gas is going to this landing page that’s about what else, saving money on gas by using a fuel additive. Yet check out guidelines number 8 and 9 I’ve supposedly run a foul of:

8. Facebook references

Ads are not permitted to mention or refer to Facebook, its site or its brand in any manner, including in the title, body, image, or destination URLs.

Ads must not use Facebook logos, trademarks, or site terminology (including Facebook, The Facebook, FacebookHigh, FBook, FB, Poke, The Wall, and other company graphics, logos, designs, or icons).

Facebook site features may not be emulated.

9. No incentives

No ad may offer incentives to viewers for clicking on the ad, for submitting personal information (cell phone numbers, social security numbers, physical addresses, or email addresses), or for performing any other tasks.

WHAT? (this is when blood squirted out my eyes and across the room) Are there two different sets of guidelines, because what you’re showing me here has no relevance whatsoever to the disapproved ad? Where does my ad say anything about Facebook? Who exactly is running the show at Facebook Ads, and is anyone being trained on how to interpret their advertising guidelines.

Yes, believe it or not, it gets even worse. I’ve been trying to get some understanding on how the Facebook advertising game works by reading NeilsWeb.com and Nickycakes.com and these guys seem to be having some adventures with the gang at Facebook as well, but on a much bigger scale than myself.

Neil logged into his account one day this past week only to see that the ad Nazi’s at Facebook turned off thousands of dollars of previously approved advertising without warning and Nickycakes recently tweeted about a good performing ad he had spent over $100,000 on that was suddenly turned off. Mind you, this is all without warning. One day you’re making the big bucks, and the next day you’re done. No warning, no renegotiating, no fixing the problem and no way to contact the little elves at Facebook Ads, that’s it, we don’t want your money any longer.

Okay, if I’m a VC with money invested in Facebook, I am freaking losing my mind at this point. You did what? You turned off the adverting of a $100K spender without even so much as an email or a phone call? When I worked at BellSouth Advertising we sent advertisers like that to Daytona and gave them box seats, we sent them to Orlando Magic games and they sat in the sky-boxes and got free food, we didn’t rip their $60,000 per month worth of advertising out of the phone book because we changed a policy overnight.

Guys, get a grip on reality, I have patches over my eyes to keep them from hemorrhaging any more.

Update: As I was getting ready to publish, I read this post over at Nickycakes.com on the new guidelines for Facebook Ads and they look even worse that before, but that’s a post for tomorrow or later.

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10 Responses to “Facebook Ad Editors Causing Blood To Shoot Out My Eyes”

  1. It really depends on which employee is looking at your ads. I’ve submitted identical ads 24 hrs apart and one got approved while the other was denied. I’ve even submitted ads that intentionally violate nearly every guideline (ringtones to highschoolers for example) and had it approved.

    Their team is a joke. Using Facebook ads is a crapshoot.

  2. don’t get angry. this shit has happened like 5 times to me since facebook ads started. just par for the course dude.

  3. Wow. Before you posted the NickyCakes link, I thought that perhaps they wanted ads like what you see on MySpace- geared soley to ADD 16 year olds. After you posted the link, it looks like it’s exactly the opposite. More or less like they absolutely hate advertising all together, and so they’re trying to make it all sophisticated, or boring enough to be innocuous. And, of course, that they’re trying to baby sit their members by only allowing pure-as-the-driven-snow advertising. Which, I suppose is almost laudable. Or would be had they actually announced their new guidelines before turning off ads. Ick.

    They’re making me glad that I’m not a FaceBook member.

  4. The entire world of internet advertising is taking a plunge lately!

    Lets see… Google gets its own affiate network. Rumor has it, Google will buy Digg…

    Yahoo agrees to show Google ads… remarkably, Yahoo search results are starting to look like Googles serps as well!

    Facebook now also…

    It almost smells like the big G is leading the way in determining the “right” types of ads for the web, others are following to be sure they appease G.

  5. I think you guys are overreacting. Most of the shit on affiliate networks is scammy, and that’s what everyones advertising. They get tons of complaints about it, so they ban it. Not that far-fetched. Despite what you think, they’re not gonna be losing much money over it in the long run. They’re just trying to keep their integrity. The real big money comes from the big media buys.

  6. Nickycakes in a post on FB ads policy included this.
    “No ad may require viewers clicking on the ad to submit personal information
    (phone numbers, physical addresses, email addresses, etc.) on the landing page or
    in the ad , except to enable an ecommerce transaction and when the ad and
    landing page clearly indicate that a product is being sold.”
    I am a FB user, and when using the “Gift Creator” option, had a built in add for an IQ test. Took the test, but before my score was given, required me to enter my cell phone number. After that, had unrequested text messages every day. I don’t use text messaging, and after calling my cell provider, the CS rep told me how to reply to the incoming text message and say STOP. Good news is that I didn’t get charged for any of the text messages.
    Seems to me this type of advertising clearly violates their own rules.

  7. Hah Alan, those political photos are hilarious, whoever is reviewing those ads before they go live must be blind… I can’t believe that gas ad was not approved.

  8. They rejected my ad because they don’t like stuff i promote (people search service), and now 50$ is on hold and i can’t use that money (they replayed to me i need to wait 3-5 days, if nothing get changed i need to email them!?!), wtf FB ads are really interesting ::)

  9. Great work on the image of blood shooting out from you eyes Alan! LOL I feel the same frustrations at times! :)

    I think everyone is coming down tough on anything that appears to be geared towards fuel savings. I don’t know why they would not allow the air purification ad though. Seems the person reviewing the ads woke up on the wrong side of the bed that day.

    Great work on those politicians! Those are very catchy ads!

  10. Wow, very interesting post. While I haven’t tried FB ads, I certainly have thought about it but this kind of changes my mind about it. Guess since they are pulling in just about every single internet user, they can afford to do this without even giving it a second thought.

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