Facebook Ad Policies - Understanding Personal Attributes

Have you heard that you can’t use the word “You” in your Facebook Ads?  Facebook Ad Policies can be confusing and if you violate their policies, your ads run the risk of being disapproved or in some cases, your whole account can be disabled.

A myth that is circulating is that using the word “you” at all in the text of an ad is against Facebook Ad Policies but that is completely untrue.

What IS against their policy is calling out “Personal Attributes” of the people you may be targeting.  Because it can be creepy.

Ads must not contain content that asserts or implies personal attributes. This includes direct or indirect assertions or implications about a person’s race, ethnic origin, religion, beliefs, age, sexual orientation or practices, gender identity, disability, medical condition (including physical or mental health), financial status, membership in a trade union, criminal record, or name.

Facebook gives a lot of examples in their page that explains Personal Attributes.

One of my favorite examples highlights the fact that using “you” is acceptable, and their “unacceptable” example doesn’t use the word “you” at all.

ACCEPTABLE:  “Looking for Buddhists near you?”

NOT ACCEPTABLE:  “Meet other Buddhists”

And it gets creepier if you do things like “Meet other Buddhists who like Yoga and Puppies in the 80303 zip code area”.  Definite no-no.

Take a look at my video where I go a little deeper into what you can and can’t say.

Getting the Language Right in Your Facebook Ad

Facebook ads are a blend of the right targeting and getting the attention of your audience.

Start out with the pain points that they are feeling.

  • Struggling with…?
  • Tired of…?
  • Parenting can be hard…

The last statement there is more generic and doesn’t imply that the person you are addressing is definitely a parent.  But make sure you don’t shift into language that assumes they are a parent.

You can say things like “You have big dreams…” but you can’t say “You have big dreams for your kids…” because that implies that the audience is parents.

Facebook does sometimes reject ads that use a lot of “you” or “your” words in them because of the bots that scan ads.  So using a lot of those terms may put your ad at risk for an automatic disapproval.  But you can always appeal if it is not calling out specific attributes.

Determining Why Your Ad was Rejected

To find out why your ad was rejected, go to the Ad level of your Facebook Ads Manager and then Edit the ad to see the reason it was rejected.

Sometimes the language is a little cryptic in what policy you may have violated but other times it’s clear what needs to be changed.

Facebook Ad Rejection Reason

If the ad needs to be edited you can edit it and then try again.  But if you think the ad does not violate the Facebook Ads Policy, you can click the Appeal button to explain to Facebook that it does not violate their policy.


Facebook Ad Policies and Landing Pages

Facebook is now also scanning landing pages and websites where you are sending the traffic to see if their policies are being violated.

But the “you” factor does not seem to be their biggest concern here.  They are mostly scanning for prohibited content that they don’t allow such as weapons, drugs, etc.  They are also scanning for images that they don’t allow such as before and after images.  Which makes it challenging for people in the fitness-related industries to advertise on Facebook.

If you do have a page that has images that violate Facebook policy but you still want to use it in your business, consider creating a separate page on your website that is just a landing page for your Facebook ads that complies with their policies.

I know Facebook Ads can be challenging especially when it comes to getting your ads approved! But if you familiarize yourself with their policies, it’s easy to get your ads approved the first time and limit your hassle.

Hopefully this post has been helpful and feel free to leave any questions in the comments below.


And if you want to dive deeper into Facebook Ads, grab my free ebook, How to Get Highly Targeted Leads the Easy Way with Facebook Ads.