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Nope! You Actually CAN’T Advertise That.

September 26, 2019

You’ve probably heard all about online advertising. And chances are you’ve been the target of some of it, too. But did you know that there are some things that can’t be advertised on social media? This always comes as a surprise to some of our clients! And I’m not just talking about too many words—something Facebook is notorious for being tough on.

When coordinating your digital marketing plan, it’s important to understand what is and what is not allowed. Because you don’t want to put a lot of time and effort into a campaign—only to have it shut down. It’s not a good feeling! And while some things that you can’t advertise are obvious—counterfeit items, illegal products and services—other things may not be so apparent. Plus each social media platform has its own set of rules.

Here’s a glimpse at what is prohibited and restricted on several social media platforms. Keep in mind that policies change! So it’s always a good idea to check with these sites yourself before advertising. Of course, if you’re working with Meredith Communications on your advertising we’ll take care of this for you!

Facebook and Instagram

For those in the homebuilding industry, Facebook and Instagram are THE go-to advertising sites. Based upon visuals, they’re very appealing. Since they are sister apps, the rules for both Facebook and Instagram are the same. 

The platforms have some ad types that are restricted but not prohibited, meaning you need to get permission from the sites to run them. Permission would be needed for anything political, so if for instance, you have a political candidate endorsing your homes, you may need special permission to run the advertisement. Also, anything related to gambling needs special permission, meaning you will need to get permission before advertising raffles or any other similar promotions. 

It’s important to stray away from anything that includes third-party infringement. Third-party infringement means that the ads violate copyright, privacy, or proprietary rights. Ads that link to a non-functioning landing page or one that doesn’t allow the person to navigate away from the page are not allowed. Also prohibited are ads for surveillance equipment or anything that promotes firearms or weapons. 

And finally, a special note regarding Facebook to my home builders and realtors reading this: Currently, you can’t target Facebook users by zip code, gender, or income. But all is not lost! You can still target locations by dropping a pin on a map and setting a radius around that pin. Also, it’s worth mentioning your price point in the copy of the ad to allow people to self-qualify because income targeting isn’t allowed.


Twitter has the least restrictive policies out of all of the social media platforms. It doesn’t allow the obvious things—promoting illegal products and counterfeit items. It also doesn’t allow ads that promote malware products. As a home builder, however, it is important to note that Twitter does have restrictions when it comes to promoting software downloads. So if you are promoting a design software, make sure to get permission first. 


Unlike the other social media sites, LinkedIn does not allow any political ads, so if your business is backing a certain candidate for office, you cannot endorse them on the site. You also cannot advocate for a particular ballot proposition, even if it directly affects your business

A few restricted topics on LinkedIn include soliciting funds and short-term loans and financial services. LinkedIn also reserves the right to determine that an ad is no longer appropriate after it was initially cleared as okay.

Don’t want to worry about whether or not your business is following the online advertising rules game? Contact Meredith Communications! We’re happy to help. 

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