In response to issues Facebook has faced with advertiser discrimination, they released Special Ad Categories at then end of 2019. If you are running any ads from the U.S. or targeting the U.S. that fall within the categories of credit, employment, or housing ads, you must tell Facebook that your ads fall into one of these categories.
While setting up a new campaign, there will be a box to check that says “I’m creating a campaign for ads in a Special Ad Category” that you must check. If Facebook determines you fall under one of those categories and you do not check the box, your ads will not be approved.
Advertisers in these categories will have restrictions on campaign targeting options.
Ages will be set to everyone 18-65+ and all genders must be included.
All location options are available except for specific zip codes. If a specific location is targeted, there must be at least a 15+ mile radius around it in order to use it.
Detailed demographic, behavior, and interest targeting choices are limited to a very short list of broad options.
Lookalike audiences can’t be used, however Facebook created an alternative in its place, Special Ad Audiences. Special Ad Audiences work the same way as Lookalikes, but only use the data from the source audience that complies with the special category limitations.
According to Facebook, “Ads that promote or directly link to a credit opportunity, including but not limited to credit card offers, auto loans, personal or business loan services, mortgage loans and long-term financing. This also includes brand ads for credit cards, regardless of a specific offer.”
If your company does clearly fall into any of the above, don’t try to get around it. Check the box and follow Facebook’s guidelines. It’s possible your ads may run for a bit, but in the long run you risk campaigns or your ad account being disabled.
You’re not necessarily in the clear. The line is not black and white with Facebook. While your product might not fit into any of the specific loan or credit offers listed above, Facebook might still put you in that category.
When trying to create a campaign outside of the special ad category, start out as conservative as possible with the copy and image. Certain words related to credit will trigger a disapproval from Facebook. Once those are approved and running, you can try ads with more descriptive language to see what will or won't be approved.
For example, you might want to run ads for a bank account that has nothing to do with credit cards, credit checks, or loans of any kind. If your ad copy contains phrases like “no minimum balance”, “no fees”, or “application”, those might trigger disapprovals.
If you are having trouble getting ads approved, have tried different safer messaging, and don’t think your product should fall under these guidelines, reach out to Facebook support. They may be able to do a manual review and help you if it’s an error on their side.
It’s important to remember that your campaigns can still perform well even if they fall under the special ad category distinction. You won’t be able to target as narrowly as usual, but Facebook will still optimize for your conversion pixel events. As long as you continue to feed the algorithm good data, it will know who is converting and look for more people who are likely to take the same actions.
If you need help running campaigns for your business in the finance industry, reach out to us!