MCSMN Blog

June 6, 2019

How Facebook Ad Transparency Could Affect Your Boosted Posts

By Taryn Offenbacher, Senior Communications Specialist

Several weeks ago I attempted to boost this post on Mayo Clinic's Facebook page:

It was denied. For this reason:

I attempted to appeal the decision twice through the online appeal process. Twice it was denied. We're flattered Facebook deemed Mayo Clinic's medical supply donation process "an issue of national importance," but were fairly confident the content was incorrectly classified. Digging into the issue, this is what I learned— and what you should know—about Facebook's new ad transparency process and how it might affect your boosted posts.

According to Facebook: Advertisers running ads related to politics or issues of national importance may be required to complete the ad authorization process. Requirements for running ads related to politics or issues of national importance vary by country. The information below is for U.S.-based users.

Why is Facebook requiring ad authorization?

We're making these changes to increase ad transparency and as part of our election integrity on Facebook and Instagram.

We hope that the ad authorization process will help candidates, political parties and other organizations provide people with more information about who's behind the ads they're seeing.


https://www.facebook.com/business/help/167836590566506?helpref=page_content

Definition of ads related to politics or issues of national importance

  • Is made by, on behalf of, or about 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; or
  • Relates to any election, referendum, or ballot initiative, including "get out the vote" or election information campaigns; or
  • Relates to any national legislative issue of public importance in any place where the ad is being run; or
  • Is regulated as political advertising.

What will authorization change?

Advertisers will need to disclose who is paying for the political ads. Besides this disclosure, it does not appear that the user's page or posting functionality will be impacted.

How do I become authorized?

In short, to become authorized, advertisers will need to complete the following steps:

  1. Page admins and ad account admins will submit their government-issued ID and provide a residential mailing address for verification.
  2. We’ll confirm each address by mailing a letter with a unique access code that only the admin's Facebook account can use.
  3. Advertisers will have to disclose who is paying for the ads.

However, the full process is a bit more complex. Facebook offers a 20-minute Blueprint training course to guide advertisers through the steps required.

Options if I don't want to become authorized?

It depends.

If your content does not meet the definition of ads related to politics or issues of national importance and was inaccurately classified, follow the formal appeal process. If your appeal is denied, contact Facebook through the Chat or e-mail function on their support page.

If your content does meet the definition of ads related to politics or issues, of national importance, you will not be able to run the ad until you complete the authorization process.

So, how did our story end? In victory! A real, live person (yes, Facebook has those) reviewed the boosted post, approved without authorization needed, and it became active almost immediately.

Best of luck to you!

Choose a message to share 
The full process is a bit more complex. #Facebook
How Facebook Ad Transparency Could Affect Your Boosted Posts #Facebook
Advertisers will need to disclose who is paying for the political ads. #Facebook


Tags: Facebook, Platforms, Software, & Tools

I'm really uncomfortable with the idea of giving Facebook my driver's license, and my manager and I agreed that we aren't going to pursue that step. If you already have a relationship with a FB ad rep, that person may be able to help. Ours was able to get one thing through, although of course after 3 months or so she left or was taken off our account.

We've also had a lot of things denied for making references to user attributes, including a recent "wear sunscreen" boosted post that never did go through. Apparently assuming that the person reading it could be at risk for sunburn is too personal.

COMMENT

Do I sense just a tiny bit of Facebook bitterness, @MeganRowe 🙂 You might enjoy our upcoming debate at our Oct 22-23 annual conference about whether hospitals should abandon the platform completely. Trying to guess which side you'd take…

COMMENT

I suspect that a number of readers are wondering just how you got a real, live person at Facebook to review your boosted post, @toffenbacher. Any tips?

COMMENT
@MeganRowe

I'm really uncomfortable with the idea of giving Facebook my driver's license, and my manager and I agreed that we aren't going to pursue that step. If you already have a relationship with a FB ad rep, that person may be able to help. Ours was able to get one thing through, although of course after 3 months or so she left or was taken off our account.

We've also had a lot of things denied for making references to user attributes, including a recent "wear sunscreen" boosted post that never did go through. Apparently assuming that the person reading it could be at risk for sunburn is too personal.

Jump to this post

Hi @MeganRowe we shared your same hesitation. Thankfully, in our case, it wasn't necessary. But we were prepared to drop that boosted post if it wasn't approved.

COMMENT
@DanHinmon

I suspect that a number of readers are wondering just how you got a real, live person at Facebook to review your boosted post, @toffenbacher. Any tips?

Jump to this post

Hi @DanHinmon good question. I visited Facebook's support page (linked at the bottom of the blog). The Chat feature was not available at the time but there was an email option so I selected that and sent an email. They responded fairly quickly.

COMMENT

All irritation aside, I can see why Facebook is taking these extreme measures to combat rampant problems with fake accounts that is leading to increasing criticisms and even anti-trust concerns. This is going to get worse before it gets better – if it does.

COMMENT
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