Why was my Facebook Ad rejected seems to be a common question amongst social media marketers. In fact, soon after I posted “What To Do When Your Facebook Ad Account is Suspended,” I was asked  “Why Was My Facebook Ad Rejected?” and “Why Was My Ad Account Suspended?”

All of a sudden I became the advice columnist for people whose Facebook ad had been rejected!

In this article, I am going to share with you the top reasons why your Facebook ad was probably rejected and how you can prevent seeing the dreaded “account disabled” message below.


The Top 10 Basics Rules of Running a Facebook Ad

If you are planning to advertise on Facebook, then you need to familiarize yourself with 10 basic rules. Failure to adhere to them will certainly mean a rejected ad… it’s a no brainer.

  1. Ads & contests must comply with the Facebook Platform Policies and Page Terms.
  2. Don’t use false, misleading, fraudulent, or deceptive claims or content in any part of your ad.
  3. You cannot reference a user’s personal characteristics, race or ethnic origin, religion or philosophical belief, age, sexual orientation or sexual life, gender identity, disability or physical/mental health, financial status or information, membership in a trade union, criminal record, name in your messaging.
  4. The promotion of alcohol, dating, gambling or adult products will depend on local laws and the presentation of the advert.
  5. Don’t promote drugs or tobacco this is not allowed. (Note that there are grey areas and exceptions such as herbal substitutes and vitamins).
  6. Don’t break copyright, trademark or privacy laws.
  7. Offensive/shocking content or imagery is not allowed.
  8. If you are offering pyramid multi-level marketing schemes, then don’t advertise. Facebook hates those.
  9. Refrain from using sexual, nudity or provocative content to promote your business or product.
  10. Never imply that your ad or product is endorsed by Facebook- this includes adding Facebook logos onto your images.

So, assuming like me, you are not a gangster trying to advertise your illegal drug and weapons stash … why would your ad get rejected?

Here are three common reasons

1. Facebook Ad Rejected Because of the 20% Rule

For a few years now, Facebook enforced a rule to limit the amount of text in ads. If an ad image contained over 20% text, the ad would be rejected as mine was below:


Recently there was much hype surrounding the news that all this was changing,  Facebook told marketer Jon Loomer:

Our research has shown that people demonstrate a preference for ads with less text. Previously, if 20% of an ad image’s area was text, it was not approved to run on Facebook, Instagram or the Audience Network. We’ve heard from some advertisers that this can be confusing, as it’s not always clear that an ad does not meet the policy requirements until after creative has been submitted. We are shifting to a new solution to improve this experience which allows advertisers more flexibility while still allowing us to maintain an enjoyable experience for people.

So what changed?  Actually, the 20% rule hasn’t changed that much at all. Under Facebook’s new guidelines, an ad won’t be outright rejected if it contains more than 20% text, but it will have its reach limited and you will still get a warning on your ads account. Too many warnings are not good for marketers who don’t want a suspended account. Luckily, Facebook now has an easy image checker which will rank your text ratio as ok, low, medium or high BEFORE you post it. Remember though that if you go ahead and advertise anyway after you have been warned then this may still be an ad rejection.

Good Image with Image Text Check


Lowered Reach Image with Image Text Check


Bad Image with Image Text Check


Takeaways with the 20% Rule

  • Keep text in one block on your image so it doesn’t get counted across the grid.
  • Keep text messages in your status – your image doesn’t need to repeat them.
  • If in doubt, upload your image to this free image checker before you post it: https://www.facebook.com/ads/tools/text_overlay.

managing facebook pages


2. Facebook Ad Rejected Because of Where Your Ad Leads

Statistics show that 69% of Facebook ads point to a landing page, 11% of ads point to a home page ,and 20% point to a page within Facebook.  If you opt for a landing page or a website, remember that Facebook looks at those too and might not be happy with what they find.

The example below shows how your ad’s headline, image and description may be in line with Facebook’s rules and yet your URL is not.


The example above is simply to illustrate the point however marketers should pay attention. Facebook analyzes all domain names and anything with illicit keywords, newly registered domains, domains associated with spam or ones that don’t match your ad content will present problems. In addition, ads which look like they are going somewhere and then don’t may be rejected. See my ad below which was rejected for including a mouse cursor button as part of the graphic design within the video.


Facebook said:

Your ad was rejected because the image portrays certain functionality that cannot be used in our particular ad format and therefore doesn’t follow Facebook’s ad guidelines. Please don’t use ad images that contain: a “play” button (ex: sideways triangle) or is made to look like a video screen or any other media buttons(ex: pause, stop, fast forward, rewind), a mouse cursor, or a QR code”

Takeaways with your landing URL

  • Your domain or landing page should closely match your ad in both image and text.
  • Ads must lead to a functioning landing page that doesn’t prevent the user from leaving.
  • Ads should not imply a functionality that cannot be used.

3. Facebook Ad Rejected Because of Your Trust Score

Every Facebook ad account has a trust score and this is an important part of whether your ads will be accepted, rejected or delayed for a while. The longer you’ve been advertising, the fewer ads you’ve had rejected and the more money you’ve spent, the faster you’ll get your ads approved.

You can view the relevance score for each of your ads which considers the positive and negative feedback you’ve received. The relevance score is a number between 1 and 10, while positive and negative feedback will be shown as a rating of low, medium or high.


To see Facebook relevance scores for each of your ads:

  1. Go to your Ads Manager.
  2. Click All CampaignsAll Ad Sets or All Ads depending on what you want to update.
  3. Click the Columns
  4. Select Customize Columns.
  5. Check Relevance Score. You can also check Positive Feedback and Negative Feedback to get more info.
  6. Click Apply.
  7. Back on your Reports page, click Level and select Ad. Make sure you have no delivery breakdown options selected or your score will not show.

Takeaways on Trust/Relevance Scores

  • Focus on spending little and often on your advertising panel.
  • Pay attention to any negative feedback – never repeat the same mistake twice!
  • Make sure your payment source is dependable and has enough balance to pay for your ads.

Check your relevance score here https://www.facebook.com/business/help/672330766217827

Hopefully you can now answer the question Why Was My Facebook Ad Rejected. You also know that prevention is better than a cure. Know the rules before you play to avoid spending your precious time in Facebook jail!

I’ve listed a whole bunch of reasons why your ad might have been rejected. What other resasons have you had your Facebook ad rejected? Let us know in the comments!