When Facebook Suspends Your Ad Account

It’s a legend among social media managers like myself because at some point it has happened to everyone. One moment you’re happily working away… all ads running nicely… the next you get the dreaded pop up message in your ads account which tells you “Your advertising account has been flagged because of unusual activity. For security reasons any ads you are running will be paused”


The reason that this injects fear into the heart of a digital marketing specialist is not because your ad account is suspended… but because it’s Facebook and anyone who has tried to contact Facebook regarding business advertising will know that it is akin to trying to make tea in a chocolate teapot. So what really happens when Facebook suspends your ad account ?

Why Was My Facebook Account Suspended?

This is the first question you should ask yourself. If you were running adverts soliciting online dating, gambling, click baiting or get rich quick schemes then you already have your answer. Facebook – or rather it’s computerized “support” system, flags these as spam and will eventually block your account. In my case however this did not apply. Were my ads using spam keywords? No, were they promoting a taboo topic? No, were there any warnings? No.

The Truth Behind Getting Your Ad Account Suspended

Having your ad account suspended on Facebook is very frustrating and here are some of the realities I have learnt whilst researching the subject and speaking to other advertisers…

  1. You Don’t Spend Enough – think Facebook cares about the hundreds/thousands you are spending each month? They don’t. With regard to advertising, Facebook has set the bar high only really providing support to those spending in excess of 500,000 per month. Yes you heard it right. I learnt this previously whilst applying for “Global Pages” for one of my clients. I was told – you only spend $10,000 per month and don’t qualify for account support.
  2. Facebook has very few humans – The majority of Facebook’s “support” is based upon computerized forms, community run forums and an electronic ranking system. Your ad may have been suspended without a human even looking at it. When you appeal the decision – electronically of course because there is no phone number, then you will wait up to one month for a computerized response. Yes you heard that right… one month!
  3. Your account is ranked – every advertising account is automatically ranked based on “good” or “bad” moves. If one of your ads gets disapproved then it counts as a bad mark against you. This could even be for something as trivial as using a higher text percentage than the 20% allocation. In my case, I never did this. I did, however, review an online dating app… purely for social purposes and this was disapproved as it was seen to be promoting online dating. The advert was resumed after an appeal but of course this was a black mark.
  4. Facebook doesn’t like Paypal – One common theme of those of us who had our ad account suspended is that we all use Paypal. Why wouldn’t we as it’s an allowed payment method right
    ? Of course when you hear that there has been suspicious activity on your ads account you head straight over to Paypal to check but in my case there is nothing suspicious at all. Facebook prefers debit and credit cards.

So What Can You Do?

Well firstly try to stay calm. Believe me, I feel your frustration and when you are using Facebook for business you can feel as though it has put a major spanner in the works. Has it? Maybe but all is not lost! Here’s what to do when Facebook suspends your ad account …

  1. Appeal Once – I have it on good authority that resending the appeal form over and over again will just put you at the bottom of the queue. Send it once and wait… and wait… and wait J
  2. Use Another Account– You need to get your ads running again asap so start using another profile connected to the account with a different payment method. If you don’t have one then slowly go through the process of connecting another profile and adding a payment method. DON’T RUSH! If you do all this in a day then this account may also get suspended!
  3. Reconsider Your Strategy – I love life lessons and this has been a big one. If, like me, you were relying too much on paid advertising then go back to grass roots. Refocus on engagement and diversify into other channels. I have always had a higher engagement in G+ despite not having a paid ads account there so I am placing more emphasis on this.
  4. Search for contacts- Facebook is notorious for deliberately withholding any contact info so you won’t find a phone number or email address for them. That said, they have staff listed on Linkedin and other social networks that you could try to reach out to.
  5. Know that you’re not alone! If you search this subject on Google, as I have done… you will see that you are not alone. There are literally thousands of frustrated advertisers (some big players) in the same boat. Does this make it ok? No it still sucks but you will understand that it is not your fault.
  6. Customer Support Matters – learn lessons for your own organization and understand that customer support matters. However big your organization is, never think you are too important to speak to your customers!

I really hope my article has helped you… if it did then head over to my Facebook Page and show me some organic love… remember I’m currently ad free! Did Facebook suspend your ad account? Tweet me @charli_says

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