Facebook's Ad Disapproval Criteria Revealed

Written by Philip Storey
5 Minute Read

Have you had any of your Facebook ads rejected or even disapproved at a later date? Sometimes it's not clear what has caused your ads to be thrown out. However, Facebook's content-related disapproval criteria list for paid social campaigns has recently been leaked. Take a look and see what might be stopping your ads getting approved...

Facebook's leaked ad disapproval list

Save the image above or expand the page to view the full list clearly. Below, we've outlined the key categories listed and the content triggers created by Facebook to query and potentially disapprove ads...

Adult and dating content

Nudity, adult content and dating are areas that Facebook is clearly conscious about. So advertising dating apps, services and events will likely see your campaigns scrutinised closely. Dating services promoting promiscuity have clearly been flagged by the approval process, whilst the wording and image quality used in dating content also features in the "prohibited content" list. 

Creative issues

The reasons for ads being disapproved due to ad creative and imagery is quite wide-reaching. They range from specific no-nos, such as animal cruelty and body-shape idealisation (like before and after images and assumptions about perfect body types), to more technical reasons related to grammar and text overlay (text-to-image ratio).

Facebook are also keen to stamp out defamatory or misleading creative, which is related to the the social network's brand and reputation, with Facebook logos, references and even pictures of CEO Mark Zuckerberg cited as potential disapproval reasons.  

Landing pages and destinations

It's not just what's displayed in your ad that counts though, as the destination of your links are under review too. Facebook doesn't want your ads to send its users to spurious or unsafe/non-secure domains.

Facebook's ad disapproval list clearly shows a crackdown on not only misleading links and dodgy landing pages, but also fake news, broken links and mismatching domains. Manipulation is not condoned. Ensuring your links are valid and reflect the expected destination of the user should be paramount.

Prohibited content

So, what else does Facebook deem unsuitable for paid social ad campaigns promoted on its channel? The prohibited content list most frequently references the following subject matter:

  • Content of a sexual nature
  • Suspect political ads (unsurprisingly) 
  • Criminality (including drugs, weapons, inciting hate, etc)
  • Misleading heath or money-related products and services

Find out more about Facebook's ad disapproval measures, plus what you can do to ensure your ads get the green light, in our dedicated blog: Why Facebook Ads Get Disapproved (and What You Can Do About It).


Some of the Facebook ad disapproval reasons are more obvious than others, but it's useful for social media marketers to have this heads up for what criteria and content may affect the speed and success of their ad approval.

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