Hello, I’m Leo Sato (@slamdunk772), the CEO of applemint, a digital marketing agency in Taiwan!
It’s been about 5 years since I started running Facebook ads in Taiwan, and as time goes by, the number of items in the ad policy has increased, and I feel that the level of difficulty in the screening process is getting higher.
We used to have a staff who was mainly in charge of Facebook ads for several health food products at her previous work and she often created banners that promoted dieting.
At that time, Facebook was a little more tolerant of diet related banners, but now they are very strict. The reason is to protect the users. But that doesn’t mean that health foods can’t be advertised on Facebook.
In this blog, I would like to reiterate Facebook’s advertising policy and introduce how to deal with the stricter advertising policy. Finally, I’ll show you a trick to get your health food banner past Facebook’s strict ad policy. If you are thinking of selling health food in Taiwan, this is a must-see.
What you can’t express on FACEBOOK
First of all, I’d like to briefly introduce 3 things that cannot be expressed on Facebook due to its advertising policy.
1. Personal characteristics
As a general rule, ads that touch on physical characteristics are prohibited. Here are some examples:
- skin color
- amount of hair (unwanted hair, head hair)
- body shape (height, width)
In the past, when we advertised hair removal for men, we used material of a man with thick shin hair, it was judged as a violation of the ad policy.
2. Personal health
The second violation is related to “personal health”. Here are some examples:
- wording related to weight loss
- ads that focus on one part of the body
- comparison of before and after use
When I created an ad for a client who sells a makeup base product, I submitted a banner showing the base applied to the back of a hand to show the texture of the product. As a result, the banner was deemed unsuitable because the focus was on the hand.
3. Misleading claims
Lastly, I would like to talk about “misleading statements”. Hyperbole and excessive claims are not allowed. Here are some examples:
- -7 pounds in 1 month!
- your hail will grow back in 3 months!
- your sickness will cure completely
When I submitted a banner stating “Feel the difference in your body with 90 minutes”, it was denied.
These are the three policies of Facebook advertising that you need to know for sure. Here’s a summary:
- The three main types of expressions that cannot be posted
Expression related to appearance (height, weight, skin tone, or hair volume)
Wording related to personal health (effect of dieting or comparison of before and after using a product)
Misleading expressions (statements that cannot be scientifically proven)
If you are selling health food products, you may be worried that you will not be able to advertise on Facebook if you see this. Don’t worry! There is a loophole. I’ll show you how to do it in the next chapter!
3 tricks to pass the FACEBOOK screening!
I’m going to share with you some of the tricks that applemint has learned from our own research.
Trick #1: Metaphors
First of all, I’d like to introduce you to the technique of using coined words. What does that mean?
For example, let’s take the banner of Body Factory’s small face therapy.
If you use phrases like “saggy jawline” “swollen face,” “big face,” or “slim face,” etc., your ad will be rejected because it is an expression of appearance. So, we use metaphors.
For example, we used the following metaphor (expression) in our advertisement
Big Face ⇒ “大餅臉 (the face that looks like a huge cake)”
Slim Face ⇒ “鵝蛋小臉” (the face that’s shaped like a goose egg)”
Something like a pig leg is also a part of metaphors. However, Facebook’s machine learning is getting better and better at recognizing these and other metaphors, and more and more ads are being rejected.
Trick #2: Try using emoji as a replacement
Even Facebook’s clever machine seems to have trouble recognizing emoji. If you use emoji, you can pass the screening of even the most obscure expressions.
For example, “beer belly” can be written using a beer emoji with the word “belly. Elephant foot” combines the emoji of an elephant with the word “foot.
Beer belly” ⇒ “🍺 belly”
Elephant Foot” ⇒ “🐘 足”
In this way, the ad may pass the screening.
While the text might be less appealing, the emojis in the text are eye-catching. So far, this method seems to be safe and I haven’t had any rejection yet!
The last one is the ultimate solution when your image banners were rejected after review.
Have you ever thought, “I’ve already made it and It’s so tedious fix it at this point… Besides I don’t know how to improve it anymore”? In such a case, you can make a video from a still image. This requires you to have a thumbnail for the video.
When Facebook reviews video banners, they typically look at the thumbnail. If there is no problem with the thumbnail, it may pass.
(*In the case of artificial review, the content will also be reviewed.)
First, use a video editing app to make a short video of the banner that failed review.
Next, submit the video and set the thumbnail. It is helpful to use your company’s logo for the thumbnail.
What was the result? We were able to save the content that failed the review!
In this article, I introduced Facebook’s ad policy and how to get past the screening process.
To summarize, the items that are most likely to get caught in the review are
- Personal traits
- Personal health
- Misleading claims
The main reason why these items get caught in the ad review process is because of user considerations. Any content that touches on gender or race is generally not allowed.
Next, there are three tricks that applemint uses to screen ads.
- Use of thumbnails
Adhering to ad policies can be tough, but adhering to them can actually make your content more positive and useful to the consumers who see your ads.
For example, as long as there is a policy that says, “No expressions of dieting”, continuing to advertise “dieting” will not solve the root of the problem.
At applemint, we are always looking for new ways to respond to policy changes.
If you have any questions about Facebook advertising, please feel free to contact us here.
Please feel free to contact us here!
Click to contact applemint.