Avoiding the Facebook Ban
Weird story… 72 hours ago I woke up to a message from our friends at FB that I had some ads rejected.
OK, no problem. I’ll go check it out.
So I grab my coffee, open the laptop, and learn that the ads don’t reside in an active client account.
They’re in my account.
The weird thing about this is that I wasn’t running any ads at the time.
So I checked the ads to find out what happened. It’s not the first time I’ve seen ads that are not current flagged and either Rejected or Disapproved.
But here’s what’s crazy:
These were ads that ran THREE years ago for only a few weeks, and have been off ever since then.
The FB bots must be bored, and they’re looking for trouble to dig up.
So I drilled into the data a little more.
I have a number of arrows in the quiver to deal with this problem. Right now I’m batting 1000 on getting client accounts turned back on after a shutdown, but I was hoping mine wouldn’t get the FB boot that so many are suffering these days.
Here’s why this problem is so serious:
In the online world, everything touches and everything counts.
I have 3 Facebook groups, 15 or so client accounts spanning nearly a half million dollars in ad spend in the past year, plus two accounts of my own, along with a bazillion assets that have to be squeaky clean. I previously had straight 0s (that's better than Ivory soap pure) for my Account Quality.
Rejected ads, current or in history, isn’t the sort of thing you can just let go.
Facebook is at least increasing costs and at worst banning accounts these days for smaller infractions (or for no infractions at all in some cases).
That 0 Account Quality score is essential operating equipment in your Facebook account.
If my account had been banned, the ripple effect could be devastating to my groups, my client accounts, and beyond.
The urgency is to handle it NOW.
So, when I discovered the notification that my ads had been rejected I immediately put in for reviews on each one. Turns out there were nine. That’s reviews for all nine ads.
(I have a couple of other methods that can work as well. When I tried them they didn’t work, which is why the review was the next step).
With all nine review requests in, then I had to wait.
The good news is that six of the rejections were reversed within a few hours.
But, not so fast, Bucko…
I still had 3 ads hanging on there with big red Rejection marks in Ads Manager.
Now their status in Account Quality showed that I had no more reviews allowed.
End of the line.
As I told a client the other day (we’re working to get his accounts turned back on after a similar issue) “The game isn’t over until Mark Zuckerberg comes to your house and unplugs your router.”
For my next trick, I broke out the big guns.
The time was after about 8pm on a Saturday night.
I went to the Support page.
My business is a Facebook Marketing Partner, so I went to my specific help section on the page. Chat (my preferred contact method with FB Support) was closed. So I filled out the email form, and included the ad IDs and links to the still-rejected ads.
I completed the form, and hit “Send”.
I can’t stress enough the importance of getting this stuff cleared up.
Account Quality MUST be a top priority. Don’t assume the bots will notice that the ads aren’t running or that they made a mistake. FB has bots checking bots, and you can get flagged for mysterious infractions that only make sense to the algorithm.
Now we’re up to Day 3 of the Rejection Saga (sounds like high school drama, doesn’t it?!)
Only a few hours after my Saturday night Support request, a lovely rep named Kristian emailed me back to inform me that my request had been approved, and that the Rejection decision on these remaining three had been reversed.
Another sigh of relief.
But we’re not out of the woods, yet.
I still have a negative mark in my history of infractions (see the red circle on the right in the screen shot below, “Unacceptable Business Practices). So at the time of this writing I have a reply email to the previous message received when the 3 remaining ads were cleared.
I need to know how to clear the “Unacceptable Business Practices” from my history.
Generally, deleting infractions isn’t the solution. That’s sweeping the problem under the rug. The deletion still shows as a rejection, even if you can't see it.
So I emailed Support back, to ask about removing the “Unacceptable Business Practice” notification in the top right corner of the page.
Remember, these so-called infractions are based on my holding ads in history in my account. (History isn’t the cause, but it’s the source of the infraction-triggering data).
When the ads were built they were in compliance according to Facebook’s terms at the time. If I were to run them now, they’d be out of compliance.
When I asked Support about removing the top-right notices, they answered that the banners couldn’t be removed.
But I (politely) asked for further clarification.
But then when I checked my account today, the banners have been removed.
We’ll see how long the “Reversed” tab stays at 9, before it returns to 0.
Account Quality needs to be straight 0s across all 4 tabs.
When clients have asked me to help them restore their accounts, or Account Quality, or disapproved products so far, 100% of the time I’ve been able to help them. Small number — about a half dozen — but it’s significant to those half dozen people.
Then we can get back to the business of building million-dollar ecommerce businesses.
How about you? Trouble with FB bots? Ready to do real business online? Check out the print newsletter I publish each month, right here:
See you at the top.