Facebook Ad Disapprovals - What YOU need to know

John H

Have YOUR Facebook Advertisements been disapproved lately...?

I've been talking to a lot of Dealers, Vendors, and Media Buyers. All of which seem to be having their advertisements disapproved, and a rare few are reporting ad account closures. Which, if you're advertising on Facebook & have paid thousands of dollars in audience data, it could make or break your social advertising operations.

Before I explain why people are having their advertisements disapproved, allow me to introduce myself...

Names John, I'm 25 years old, and I help quite a few dealerships (Independents & franchise) sell more vehicles through the use of creative Facebook Advertisements. And we're not talking about your generic carousels, stock images, or lead ads. I'm talking full fledged video creatives promoted through the platform, where users are sent through funnels and loads of other complicated stuff. Not sure if I'm allowed to share this here, but I wrote a MASSIVE tutorial on DealerRefresh regarding how to run Facebook Ads effectively in 2019 and beyond... Which you should read if you've began running Facebook Advertisements or are looking to begin running them yourself. And if not allowed, please remove the link. ty ty ty

So now that we've got that to the side, let's talk about the big ugly elephant in the room...

1: What's the Special Ad Category, and why does it affect Advertisement Approvals?

This is a bit complicated to answer, so let's start off with saying the word DISCRIMINATION.

The Fair Housing Act of 1968 was implemented to prevent advertisers from targeting and excluding individuals based on protected categories such as religion, color, gender, age, etc. HUD claims that Facebook violated this act, and in turn came Facebook's implementation of the Special Ad Category. Which prohibits advertisers in the Credit, Employment, and Housing sectors from using advanced demographic targeting features, as well as data points commonly used in Look-A-Like audiences.

By not submitting your campaign to this category, you're in direct violation of Facebook's advertising TOS. Unbeknownst to you, this could result in advertisement disapprovals, or ultimately the closure of your Advertising account. 

Facebook's introduction of the Special Ad Category may limit the accuracy of how you target people through the Facebook Platform, but in turn broadens your audiences, widening your chances of finding buyers and GREATLY improving Costs Per Unit sold. So though it may be annoying, it's actually incredibly beneficial. 

2: Why are my advertisements being disapproved?

That's a tough question to answer, because I don't know you, or the advertisements you're running.

It's highly likely if you've never had advertisements disapproved before, and are recently getting disapproved, it's due to the integration of the Special Ads category. Which can be corrected by submitting your ads to the Special Ad Category. (This can be done by editing the advertisement at campaign level, and submitting to the corresponding category you're advertising in)

HOWEVER... if you're running deep subprime angles, targeting people with "bad credit" or "bk's", you're walking a thin line. Angles like this are very aggressive and tend to have loads of competition. Angry competitors may report your ads, for the lolz. Or even worse, a Facebook Moderator may come across your advertisement and disapprove it's placement.

Whatever the case may be, it would be best if you were to submit your campaign to the special ads category. Which you can do by navigating to your Ads Manager, clicking to campaign level, editing whatever campaign you're running, and submitting your ads to one of the three Special Ad Categories (if you're running ads as a car dealership or salesperson, it would be best to submit to the Credit category).


Facebook's implementation of this new category frustrates many dealers across the states. However, this GREATLY reduces competition, and may give you the competitive edge you need through the Facebook Platform to acquire more buyers in your market.. ultimately producing more social media sales.

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