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Facebook’s Crackdown on Political Ads

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Kristin Dyak


We’re all well aware that as of May 7th, 2018, Facebook is taking a much closer look at their paid ads and boosted post process, content, targeting and results. Although you might think of a political ad as being one that is only regarding candidates running for office, Facebook is flagging several other top-level issues that will require advertiser authorization when targeting the US.

Here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions to prepare you for your next political Facebook ad campaign and promoted content:

What qualifies an ad as political?

Ad content that…

  • Is made by or on behalf of a current or former candidate for public office, a political party, a political action committee or advocates for the outcome of an election to public office
  • Relates to any election, referendum or ballot initiative, including “get out the vote” or election information campaigns
  • Relates to any national legislative issue of public importance in any place where the ad is running
  • Is regulated as political advertising in relation to these top-level issues: abortion, budget, civil rights, crime, economy, education, energy, environment, foreign policy, government reform, guns, health, immigration, infrastructure, military, poverty, social security, taxes, terrorism, values.

How do I become authorized to run ads that include political content?

To initiate the authorization process and confirm your identity, you will need to add your mailing address, last four digits of your social security number and a photo of your US driver’s license or US passport to your Business Manager account. From there, Facebook will mail you a code to your residential address with instructions to finalize the authorization. Please note that after Facebook confirms your identity, they’ll delete this information from their systems. This typically happens within six weeks.

In addition to the Page Admin who’s creating the disclaimers, any person creating, modifying, publishing or pausing ads that include political content will need to have their identity confirmed.

How do ad disclaimers work?

Political Facebook ads will have a disclaimer that appears at the top of any ads you run on Facebook or Instagram. A few factors to consider for the disclaimer to be approved are that it must accurately represent the organization or person paying for the ad, not represent a foreign country or political figure and comply with Facebook’s Community Standards and Advertising Policies.

Is it worth it? 

This process is extensive and tedious, but once you’re authorized, you’re able to create ongoing political ads for that account. If your company produces several campaigns that qualify as political, then it is well worth having an authorized member on your team. On the other hand, if your standard content is not politically driven, then the authorization process might not be worth your time and effort.

The Facebook paid advertising processes and regulations are evolving. Although political ads might not typically be in your wheelhouse, it’s essential to know the current space and stay up to date on what to expect for the future of digital advertising. Learn more about Facebook ads with political content here.

Visit our Deep Ads Thoughts blog to learn more about current advertising, marketing and public relations tips and trends. Plus, check out our Push n’ Pull blog for all things in the world of digital and social media.

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