restricted items for facebook ads-2021

With the rise of e-commerce, it’s never been more popular to advertise on Facebook. However for some products, you’ll have to meet a certain list of additional requirements before Facebook will allow you to run ads. If you don’t follow these steps, then your ad will be rejected by Facebook, and your account may face action against it.

For these products, you’ll have to meet a certain list of requirements before advertising on Facebook, which include prior written permission from Facebook. We’ll go over them all in detail, but if you’re just looking for a quick answer, this is a brief list of items with additional restrictions placed on them by Facebook:


  1. Alcohol
  2. Dating Services
  3. Gambling
  4. Online Pharmacies
  5. Safe Supplements
  6. Subscription Services
  7. Financial Services
  8. Student Loan Services
  9. Cosmetics and Weight Loss Products or Services




The first product subject to additional restrictions is alcohol, which shouldn’t come as a shock to most. With the large amount of advertising restrictions placed on alcohol in the real world, it makes sense that Facebook would be extremely wary about who can advertise on it’s platform.

Because of this, you’ll have to go through a review process with Facebook prior to running ads for any alcoholic products.

Additionally, your ads can only be run in certain areas because they must follow all local applicable laws to that area.

That means that for advertisements on Facebook featuring alcohol, they’ll have to be extremely targeted to a specific geographical area. This, along with age restrictions, can cause many alcohol product ads to be rejected by Facebook, and makes it much more difficult to get your ads approved.

Overall, unless you’re already a big-time player in the alcohol game, setting up ads on Facebook for alcoholic products is probably more trouble than it’s worth.





dating services

The second type of product with additional restrictions placed on it by Facebook is dating services. Although ads for dating services are allowed on Facebook, there are some surprisingly heavy restrictions placed upon them.

First of all, Facebook won’t allow you to encourage cheating through their ads, even indirectly- you must target only people who are either “single” or “unspecified” in their relationship status.

Additionally, you can target only “men” or “women”, but not both. And lastly, you may only target adults who are aged 18 and up.

Although this one may seem obvious, it’s worth keeping in mind as it can reduce potential audience size, especially in countries outside the U.S. where dating services are more acceptable for people aged 16-18.

However, the list of restrictions doesn’t stop there- you’ll also have to keep your ads “PG”, which means absolutely no sexual contact, implied or otherwise, and no excessive showing of the skin, even if it’s not explicitly sexual in nature.

When it comes to this restriction in particular, Facebook is very diligent about reviewing ads. Some other types of prohibited images for Facebook ads are either pixelated or blurred images, or selfies.

If after all this, you still want to advertise your dating service on Facebook, you should review their more specific policies to ensure you don’t get banned from the platform for some easily avoidable mistake in your ad copy or targeting.






The third type of product that Facebook has additional advertising restrictions on is real-money gambling. One catch here is that real- money includes a variety of things, including any in-game currencies which can be exchanged for real life currencies, like tokens, as well as cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

Additionally, in Facebook’s eyes, gambling includes games where you must pay to continue to play, where playing allows some chance at a prize.

The largest hurdle to overcome with online casino gambling using real money is that you’ll have to have your business reviewed by Facebook’s ad team and receive prior written permission in order to have your ads approved. This means that it will be much harder for those who are less established or don’t have as credible a store front. 

Although this kind of restriction does make sense for the consumer, it does produce a significant barrier to entry for anyone looking to advertise their online gambling through Facebook.

However, this isn’t the only restriction. You’ll also have to target users only over 18, and only in areas where gambling is allowed. Because of the huge restrictions in targeting, especially in the United States, gambling advertisements can be a tricky thing to work out within Facebook.

For this reason, we think that unless you’re established in gambling advertising already, it’s probably not worth advertising gambling products or sites on Facebook.





online pharmacies

Online pharmacies are a tricky one. Although they are allowed, you’ll have to go through a review process and obtain prior written permission from Facebook to advertise online pharmaceuticals.

They also require restricted targeting, for example you must only advertise to individuals 18 and up.

Ads must also not promote specific drugs, only the actual pharmacies.

For this reason, similar to alcohol and gambling, it will be difficult to enter the world of Facebook advertisements for pharmaceuticals.





safe supplements

The next type of product which Facebook has restrictions on are supplements.

Although supplements themselves must go through a rigorous review process themselves to be advertised at all, once they have been deemed by Facebook to be safe, they still have additional restrictions when it comes to targeting, namely that you can only advertise to those 18 and up.

So, although it is possible to advertise supplements on Facebook, they must be both deemed safe by Facebook and targeted to the appropriate audience.

These restrictions are easier to deal with than the abovementioned restrictions, but they should still be considered when you’re developing your Facebook ad strategy.





suscription services

The next type of product which has additional restrictions on it are subscription services.

Surprisingly, there are a fair amount of different restrictions Facebook places restrictions on.

Firstly, your landing page- the page where your customers are sent to after clicking on your ad- must have a checkbox where the potential customer acknowledges the terms and conditions.

Additionally, this box must be unchecked by default, so the customer actually has to check the box. 

Secondly, you’ll have to provide a link to your business’s privacy on that same landing page. 

You’ll also have to clearly display the price of the subscription item, including any special details about recurring charges, like how often it will be charged and how much, as well as any special introductory price offers that then increase to different rates.

These details should be displayed in both your terms and conditions, and in your landing page’s main content. 

The page’s content should also contain a reasonable summary of the terms and conditions, such as in the product description area of your subscription. This content should include the main information of the terms and conditions, including the details about cancelling the service.




subscriptions can be tricky


This is one area where some will have problems getting their ad rejected, because you have to make sure details on cancelling the subscriptions are included in both the terms and conditions section, and in your landing page’s main content.

Facebook will look for this first when determining if your ad should be accepted or rejected. 

Additionally, targeting for subscription services is only able to be targeted to those 18 years and older, which naturally limits the potential audience for any subscription product. 

The ad content must also clearly state that there is a subscription required, and that charges are recurring. This can limit your options with creative, because you’ll have to include that information in every ad. 

When it comes to free trials, the landing page and the ad must disclose all relative information, such as when the trial ends, how much the subscription will cost after the trial, and how often they will be charged after the trial.

Although this is relatively simple to set up, it can limit your creativity with your ad copy, because again, you’ll have to include this information in every ad and on your landing page for the ad.

Overall, when it comes to subscription products, they’re not quite as difficult to get approved for as some of the other categories of restricted products, like alcohol or online gambling.

However, they still have their fair share of hoops to jump through, but as long as you make sure to play by Facebook’s rules, you should be able to set up ads for subscriptions on Facebook just fine.


financial products and services

The next type of product which Facebook has placed additional advertising restrictions on are financial services. This category includes credit cards, loans, and insurance services.

This one is not quite as tricky as the other products, as it pretty much just follows basic finance advertising requirements.

First of all, you’ll have to be careful about your landing page. You can’t have an ad directly link to a page asking for credit card information, or their financial details.

Instead, you’ll need to have a product page with a clear description of your product or service and any fees involved, which then links to that conversion page.





student loan services

The next type of product which Facebook has placed additional advertising restrictions on are student loan services. If you’re targeting people on Facebook for student loan services, it’s possible, but Facebook has placed some additional restrictions.

Firstly and most importantly, you can only target those 18 and up.

Secondly, you’ll have to be a little more careful about any claims you make.

Make sure your ad copy is absolutely above reproach, and avoid anything that could be constructed as deceptive, misleading, or fraudulent, and make sure your landing page is up to snuff on these aspects as well.





cosmetics and weight loss

The next restricted product we’ll go over here are cosmetic and weight loss ads. Although there are some additional restrictions,. The main ones are that your ad cannot contain and before and after type images and that you must target your products or services to only those aged 18 and up.

These are the item types that Facebook has placed additional restrictions on for advertising, but are still allowed on the platform. If you’re planning on advertising in one of these areas on Facebook, it’s a good idea to go over what you’ll need specifically to appease Facebook.

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