Dear Knoxie:

I’m in marketing for a medical device company and we use Facebook ads to drive traffic to our products. I created a great new Facebook ad that speaks directly to my target audience but received a notification that it was disapproved. Why isn’t my ad approved? What can I do?


Perplexed Pete

Dear Perplexed Pete:

It sounds like your Facebook ad may be violating policy 12: Personal attributes. This is one of the more confusing policy violations that we commonly encounter, so you’re not alone! This policy states that “ads must not contain content that asserts or implies personal attributes.” Translation: avoid directly referencing the person who your ad is targeting – avoid words like “you” and “yours.”

With growing criticism about its advertising and user data policies, Facebook has continued to increase the amount of restrictions around the ads a business is able to promote. This can cause major issues for businesses in sensitive industries or for those running ads who are unaware of the latest policy updates.

Avoid future road blocks with our tips below to help you pass Facebook’s ad review with flying colors.

First, a quick overview of what exactly the Facebook ads review process entails.

Before ads show up on Facebook, they undergo an automated review process to ensure they meet advertising policies. This initial review process is typically done within 24 hours (some cases may take longer). During this ad review process, Facebook will check:

  • Ad image
  • Ad copy
  • Targeting
  • Positioning 
  • Ad landing page content (ensure your landing page content is functional and matches the product/service promoted in your ad)

If your ad passes the test, you will be notified and it will start running right away. If not, here are some tips to help!

1. Familiarize yourself with the policies that affect your industry

Facebook ad policies change often, so be sure to find the most updated version on their website here: We recommend paying particular attention to the Prohibited Content and Restricted Content sections.

Check out more examples from Facebook here to ensure your ad copy passes the test. 

2. Be prepared to submit the ad for manual review

New ads go through Facebook’s automated review process. During this process, if something in the ad does not align with policy, Facebook’s AI will flag the ad and it won’t run.  

When a Facebook ad is flagged, you have two options:

  • Review ad policies again to ensure your copy and creative align. If it doesn’t, update and resubmit. 
  • If you believe it was flagged in error, submit it for manual review. Be prepared to provide a reason why you think the ad does not violate Facebook Ad policies. 

Request manual review for your Facebook ad using this form here.

Important Note: If your ad is on the fence with policy violations and it passes the first review process, you may not be in the clear. Every time a campaign or ad group is edited, all ads go through Facebook’s automated review again. We have seen instances where an ad in violation has passed through review initially, only to be flagged days or even weeks later. So keep a close eye on your campaign to ensure ads remain running. 

3. Build manual review into your timeline

While sometimes a campaign can be up and running in a matter of hours, other times the review process is not on your side. We recommend uploading ads at least 2-3 days ahead of time to ensure they have enough time to go through the review process and any edits can be made.

Note: Manual review can take up to 48 hours in some cases. This is especially important if you only have a short time-frame to run ads, such as for a limited time offer or an upcoming event. 

4. Create multiple versions of your ad creatives

One way to prevent Facebook ad disapprovals from derailing your campaign is to have multiple versions of your ad. In these versions, focus on varying the ad copy. This increases your chances of having a few ads approved, even if some are flagged.

5. Monitor ad performance

Always monitor ad performance. Early warning signs that your ad may later become flagged for policy infringement include negative comments or low impression serving. Facebook’s “Ad Relevance” metric is useful for an at-a-glance metric to determine if Facebook thinks your ad is aligning with your audience. 

While the Facebook ads review process has gotten more complex, I hope these tips will help!

Your Facebook Ads Friend,


P.S. Need help with your Facebook ads? Take a look at our Social Advertising Capabilities to see how NordicClick can help.

P.P.S. Kindly typed by Desiree Yourczek because paws.