Facebook does not allow the sale of body parts and more. A large list of prohibited ads on social networks and search platforms


For ads to be approved in a timely manner, brands need to know what content is allowed, what is limited, and what is prohibited. We have put together this cheat sheet to help a novice targetologist on social networks.

Part of managing successful advertising campaigns is knowing which types of advertising content are prohibited and which are limited in social and search advertising. Most prohibited content (counterfeit goods, illegal products and services, etc.) and restricted content (political advertising, alcohol, etc.) follow similar standards from one platform to another, but each company has its own set of rules.

For marketers who are often charged with launching advertising campaigns in an instant, knowing which advertising content might be blocked by an automated system can be a salvation. This knowledge is important for a social media advertising manager who spends time in trenches, loading creative ads, setting up advertising filters and waiting for approval.

On all social platforms and platforms for advertising on the search network, the standard rules apply: it is forbidden to advertise counterfeit goods, tobacco, illegal goods or services. No promotions that include trademark or copyright infringement or fraudulent or fraudulent activities. The content of restricted ads — ads that you can display but with some restrictions — is slightly different from platform to platform. Some platforms make it easy to follow their rules and not go into details, while others are very specific. The following list gives marketers an overview of the prohibition and restriction policies for each platform.

Facebook and Instagram

Facebook’s prohibited advertising content in all its application families includes standards: advertising illegal products or services, tobacco products or firearms is prohibited. Facebook also prohibits the advertising of video surveillance equipment or any advertising content that contains violations of third parties (advertising that violates copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity or other personal or property rights is prohibited).

But there are a few topics worth noting. For example, a company does not allow ads that lead to a broken landing page: “This includes the contents of the landing page that prevents a person from leaving the page.” You cannot advertise payday loans or security bonds. And here is what makes anyone wonder if there was a specific case that inspired this rule: Facebook does not allow the sale of body parts.

Content with restricted access. Advertisers who want to promote online dating services must obtain permission from the platform before showing ads, this applies to political advertising, as well as the promotion and sale of cryptocurrency. Promotions related to gambling, state lotteries, OTC drugs and online pharmacies also have limitations.

Drug and alcohol treatment programs in the United States must first be certified through LegitScript before they can apply for advertising on Facebook platforms. And advertising products and plans for weight loss should be targeted to users aged 18 years and older.

Google and Youtube

Google recently made efforts to standardize its content policies. He didn’t actually change or update his rules regarding allowed and prohibited ads, but instead reorganized the way that policies and restrictions on content are presented in AdSense, AdMob, and Ad Manager.

“We received ongoing feedback from our publishers that they want us to further simplify our policies for all products so that they are easier to understand and track,” wrote Scott Spencer, Google Advertising Director at Inside AdSense.

Prohibited advertising content includes:

Counterfeit goods

Hazardous products or services

Ads that allow dishonest behavior

Inappropriate Content

Google also highlights prohibited advertising methods: abuse of the advertising network, distortion of information, collection and use of data.

The list of limited advertising content of the company is more complete, but still remains within the usual parameters without any strange elements, such as parts of the human body. Google limited content advertising policies include:

  1. Adult content
  2. Alcohol
  3. Copyright
  4. Gambling
  5. Health & Medication
  6. Political Content
  7. Financial services
  8. Trademark

Legal requirements (all ads must comply with laws and regulations relevant to the place where it is displayed).

For the most part, Google maintains its advertising policy at a high level - a tactic that gives the company more control over the decision in each specific case, what is allowed and what is not.


The list of banned ads on Twitter is perhaps the easiest. These are the same standard rules that apply in the landscape of social advertising.

One area in which Twitter distinguishes its policies from other platforms is the specific statement that it prohibits the advertising of malicious products, and has restrictions on promotions for downloading software.

It is worth noting that the policies regarding advertising content listed here for each platform are what they are now, but social platforms have a history of regularly changing their policies regarding advertising content. This is especially noticeable with respect to political advertising in the last year and a half. Facebook was revising its rules regarding cryptocurrency advertising, completely banning advertising in January 2018, and then six months later changed its policy. Only last year, Facebook began to impose age limits on the targeting of advertising accessories for weapons.

As advertising policies change across platforms, Futureinapps always keeps abreast. We will target ads for any platform without any problems!

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