Key members of Quality Score LTD recently attended an exclusive meeting with Facebook’s global policy team, where we were forewarned about new policy initiatives and an imminent crackdown on advertisers.
Although these changes will be hard on all businesses, for marketers whose business falls within an industry that is more explicitly regulated than others, product advertising on Facebook is expected to become ever more challenging.
We would like to take the opportunity to update you on some of these changes in the efforts to help you circumvent costly mistakes that can be detrimental to your business.
Why is it so Difficult to Keep Accounts Compliant?
Staying compliant is not as easy as simply reading Facebook’s advertising guidelines. In the meeting we attended, a Facebook representative stated, “Our policy is driven by two main factors: legal factors and user sentiment factors.”
Legal factors are easier to define in terms of things that governments expect Facebook to remove, liabilities, etcetera. User sentiment factors on the other hand, is an entirely different story.
It’s important to remember that Facebook is first and foremost a social networking website and in turn, their most obvious objective is to bring and keep people on their platform for as long as possible. Therefore, Facebook is far more honed in to various aspects of the user experience. Since this experience is a state of mind, it is difficult for Facebook to define policy in terms of a specific and static set of rules.
The Future of Facebook Policy and Crackdowns That are Underway
In the efforts to safeguard the user experience and create a better user sentiment, Facebook notified us that they will begin paying far more attention to the entire post-click experience. It is no longer simply about maintaining congruence between the Facebook ad and the landing page that ad takes users to. The entire user experience in your funnel is now on the table (landing page, purchase pages, payment safety, reviews, etcetera). Even negative feedback post-purchase will eventually impact policy—and that’s a pretty big deal.
The crackdowns that are underway, seek to ensure that users are capable of making informed decisions and that users are given 100% of control in the process.
Here is a sneak peek of some of the biggest issues coming our way…
- In addition to ad congruence, now marketers must reference the fact that a product is being sold in the Facebook ad itself.
2) VSLs on Landing Pages
- LPs cannot only have a VSL on it.
- LPs must contain information about the product.
- The user must be able to determine what product is being sold without having to watch the VSL.
- Users must have control over the VSL including play, pause, fast forward, rewind, and information on duration of the video.
- VSL cannot make unsubstantiated claims or promise results.
3) Pre-sales and checkout pages
- The discount you offer cannot be more than 50% off.
- You cannot have fake countdown times that the user must check out by or a fake limited inventory counter.
- Advertorials are no longer permitted in the health industry and are a tactic discouraged in all other industries.
- You cannot pretend to be an independent media entity that you are not.
- Advertorials cannot look like an objective, third party wrote the article or like it’s a newsletter.
- Advertorials cannot use clickbait style language designed to shock the reader.
5) Subscriptions and free trials
- The first time you ask a user for a piece of personal information (email, name, number, address, etc.) you must say the price, billing interval, how to cancel, and have an opt-in checkbox for the terms and conditions (this checkbox cannot be opted-in by default).
We hope you found this information useful. If you have any questions or are currently faced with any compliance issues, feel free to contact us. We will continue to add to our Best Practices Guide To Google And Facebook Compliance so be sure to check back for updates.
[INTRO] Best Practices Guide To Google And Facebook Compliance (June 1, 2016)
[Part 1] What is Compliance & Why Do Platforms Forge Promotion Policies? (June 14, 2016)
[ALERT] New Facebook Policy Could Put Your Accounts at Risk (November 22, 2016)
[Part 2] General Advertising Guidelines for Google and Facebook (Coming Soon)
[Part 3] How Ads Get Disapproved, Accounts Disabled, & Domains Banned (Coming Soon)
[Part 4] What to Do if Your Site, Ad, or Account Gets Banned (Coming Soon)