facebook ads and banned products

facebook ads and products disallowed by facebook

We’ll go over each category in detail, but a quick list of items which are completely disallowed by Facebook is:

  1. Weapons and Ammo
  2. Unsafe Supplements
  3. Adult Content
  4. Cryptocurrencies
  5. Surveillance equipment
  6. Payday Loans
  7. Multi-Level Marketing
  8. Penny Auctions
  9. Tobacco Products
  10. Prescription Drugs
  11. Paraphernalia
  12. Counterfeit Documents
  13. Spam
  14. Nonexistent Functionality

weapons and ammo

The first category of items which Facebook disallows entirely are weapons, ammunition, and explosives. Basically, you won’t be able to advertise on Facebook anything which could be construed as a weapon.

As a general guideline, if it’s purpose is to hurt someone, it generally won’t be able to be advertised on the platform.

However, you can advertise for interest sites about these products, including blogs or forums, as long as these sites aren’t directly selling these products.

Additionally, your ad copy must not feature these products at all, even if your landing page has to do with them.

Relatedly, you must be careful that your landing page couldn’t be construed as an ad for these types of products.

Because of the type of restrictions on this class of products, it’s generally not worth it to advertise on Facebook for them.





unsafe supplements

The next class of completely disallowed products for Facebook advertising are unsafe supplements.

While it’s completely up to Facebook to decide which supplements are deemed unsafe, there are some categories which they’ve singled out as unsafe.

These include steroids, chitosan, comfrey, ephedra, and HGH. If your intended supplement is similar to one of these products, you’ll likely have the ad disapproved by Facebook.

Advertising unsafe supplements is one of the fastest ways to get your ad account restricted by Facebook.





adult content

The next class of disallowed products are “adult” products. Facebook doesn’t allow for ads about sex toys, dirty magazines, or “adult dating services” anything sex or pornography-related is pretty much certain to be disallowed by Facebook.

This is because although you could target your ads to only those 18+ and single, Facebook doesn’t want the risk of allowing these types of ads on their platform to tarnish their name.

When you’re advertising contraceptives, be sure to only market the contraceptive benefits of your product.






The next type of product for which Facebook doesn’t allow ads on their platform are cryptocurrencies.

With how volatile cryptocurrencies can be, and with how complex the fundamentals can become, it’s no wonder Facebook restricts ads about cryptocurrencies almost completely.

One of the main reasons Facebook has decided to ban cryptocurrencies is that they found that ads in this category often contain misleading or deceptive promotional practices.

This is pretty telling, because it shows how much of a problem scams are within the cryptocurrency community.





surveillance equipment

The next type of product disallowed by Facebook is surveillance equipment.

At its simplest, this policy states that if you can use it to spy on other people, you can’t advertise it on Facebook.

If you’re advertising a hidden camera, cell phone tracker, or nanny cam, you can expect to get your ad rejected by Facebook.





payday loans

The next type of product which Facebook has disallowed ads for completely are payday loans, and this is probably for the best.

Payday loans are almost always predatory, so it’s no wonder Facebook wants to stay as far away from them as possible.

Additionally, payday loans have been under greater scrutiny by regulators, so Facebook may be trying to avoid heat altogether.

These types of loans are high-interest and short term, explicitly intended to cover expenses between paydays.

Additionally, these types of loans have been frequently accused of taking advantage of lower- income consumers.





multi-level marketing

Next up in terms of items disallowed entirely by Facebook are multi level pyramid schemes. This is an important one because if your ad gets rejected for this reason, it may be because your business is being misclassified as a multi-level marketing scheme.

To make sure this isn’t the case, you’ll want to make sure your business model is clearly described in any ad where you’re offering people the opportunity to make money.

Both the ways in which they will make money and how you will make money through that must be clearly described.

If the business model looks like a triangle, expect Facebook to reject your ads.





penny autions

Facebook also does not allow ads for penny auctions. These are online events where a consumer pays a small fee to buy a bid on an item.

The reason that these are disallowed entirely by Facebook is that they are more often than not fraudulent, and at their best, they are still very similar to gambling.

Because of this, Facebook disallows ads for penny auctions entirely.





tobacco products

The next class of products disallowed by Facebook are tobacco products.

Unlike alcohol, you may not advertise tobacco products at all, even if they’re being targeted to only people over 18 and follow local laws.

This is because in most regions, tobacco advertising is more heavily restricted, making the amount of advertising that could be shown very limited.

For this reason, Facebook has decided that tobacco products may not be advertised at all, because it simply isn’t worth the hassle of making sure ads follow the local laws.

Remember, Facebook has to review every ad, and if each one has tons of restrictions, that makes their job harder. However, there are a couple important exceptions.

Firstly, anti-smoking ads are completely fine, as are ads which point users to a community page or interest site for the topic.

Similarly to guns and ammunition, you must be sure that the site you’re pointing users towards does not directly sell any prohibited products, especially tobacco products.





prescription drugs

Even if they are technically legal, Facebook does not allow ads for any prescription drugs. This can be tricky, because although the drugs themselves are disallowed, the actual pharmacies are not.

If you’re advertising for a pharmacy on Facebook, make sure to never mention actual specific pharmaceuticals, as this will get your ad copy rejected.






Any ads for products which are intended to be used for illegal products are not allowed. This makes selling drug paraphernalia on Facebook impossible.

Facebook does this to protect the name of the platform. And if you’re thinking about advertising “water pipes” for “tobacco” you also won’t be able to do that, because tobacco products are banned altogether as well.

For this reason, you’re better off looking elsewhere to advertise these types of products.





counterfeit documents

This one may seem obvious, but Facebook doesn’t allow for the advertising of any counterfeit documents, such as passports, school ids, or driver’s licenses.

If you’re intending to advertise for counterfeit documents, you’ll be in for a rough time when it comes to Facebook ads.





spam and sensational content

You’ll have to make sure nothing in your ad could be construed as spam, such as fake warning messages or popups. You’ll have to make sure your landing page is free from these intrusive techniques as well.

Additionally, you can’t link to sites that contain malware from your ads or landing pages. Doing this is the easiest way to get an ad rejected by Facebook for spam or malware reasons.

The next category of ads which Facebook does not allow are ads that contain sensationalized content. This can be a tricky one, because it’s up[ to Facebook to decide what is considered sensational or not.

However, the main guideline is to generally not include ad content meant to scare or shock it’s viewers. Additionally, you cannot make an ad that depicts either threats of violence or actual violence, implied or explicit.

For example, you can’t have a picture of a person holding a gun. If you have an image like that in your ad, expect for it to be rejected by Facebook.





nonexistant functionality

The last type of product which are completely disallowed by products are ads which contain nonexistent functionality. For example, you couldn’t have a play button in your ad that doesn’t work. Another example of nonexistent functionality would be a checkbox on your ad that doesn’t check the box, but instead brings them to your site.

Now that we’ve gone over both the products that Facebook has restrictions on and the products which Facebook disallows entirely, hopefully you’ll be prepared to tackle Facebook ads. If you’d like to learn more, sign up for our newsletter below and become an e-commerce genius!