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Posted on April 25, 2022

Facebook Special Ad Category — What You Need To Know

Denver PPC
Denver PPC
PPC Specialists
Facebook Special Ad Category — What You Need To Know Feature Image
Facebook Special Ad Category — What You Need To Know
Denver PPC
Denver PPC
PPC Specialists
Posted on April 25, 2022

Anyone who has recently created an ad in Facebook Ads Manager has probably noticed a new ad classification: Facebook Special Ad Category.

Meta Technology Company (the new parent company of Facebook) created this new feature for ads that deal with housing, credit, or employment. The new distinction means these types of ads have limited targeting options to prevent unwanted demographic discrimination.

While these restrictions may seem like a barrier, they aren’t really. 

Despite the special ad category, your ads can be just as effective as any other promotional tool in your PPC arsenal.

This article will show you everything you need to know about the Facebook Special Ad Category. We’ll look at what types of ads qualify, how this classification may affect your ads, and much more.

What is a Facebook Special Ad category?

Facebook created this category to help enforce its policies against discriminatory practices in advertising. Specifically, they were looking to prevent discrimination based on demographics like age, geographic location, and gender.

Facebook chose these three types because of historical examples of discrimination and civil rights abuses in the housing, employment and credit spheres. 

If an ad falls under one of these classifications, Facebook will narrow the targeting options of the advertiser. 

This action prevents advertisers from creating a unique ad audience based on age, gender, or a person’s zip code.

Targeting views for social media ads

These restrictions on detailed targeting mean users who have products or services in the areas of housing, credit, and employment won’t be able to exclude specific audiences from viewing their ads. 

Plus, they cannot target audiences based on demographics or behaviors. Advertisers who want to run ads in these categories must now use a Facebook Special Category Ad.

Facebook Special Ad category targeting

These restrictions prevent users from creating “lookalike” audiences for special category ads.

Instead, you can select a “Special Ad Audience,” allowing Facebook to place your ad in front of people whose online behavior matches your current custom audiences without using those demographic criteria.

Using a previously saved audience for your special category ad may result in certain aspects of that list being unavailable. Age, gender, or zip code information will be excluded, but any categories outside those three will still be applied.

The team member who manages your PPC ads needs to be familiar with these restrictions and must be ready to adjust your marketing campaign accordingly.

The Facebook Special Ad categories

How would a PPC manager know whether your ad qualifies for the Facebook Special Ad Category? Let’s check out a few examples.

The three different types of ads included in the Facebook Special Ad category are housing, employment, and credit opportunities.

Housing and real estate

Facebook designates ads promoting or linking to housing opportunities or related benefits as part of their Special Ad category. 

These types of ads include:

  • The sale or rental opportunities for houses, apartments, condos, or other housing
  • Homeowners’ insurance opportunities (or mortgage)
  • Housing loans
  • Home equity services or appraisals
  • Housing repairs

However, there are exceptions.

For example, an ad designed to educate about the rights and responsibilities of fair housing practices does not fit into the Facebook Special Ad category. 

In this example, the PPC manager could include a logo as part of the ad to differentiate it from excluded housing ads.

You can still restrict the county of a special ad audience for location targeting. Also, you can restrict the size of your audience, reaching a less broad and more defined group of subscribers.


An ad promoting or linking directly to credit opportunities or related services will fall under the Facebook Special Ad category. 

These types of ads include:

  • Credit card ads, with or without a specific credit card offers
  • Mortgage loan, long-term financing, or refinancing offers
  • Personal, business, or automobile loan service ads

However, despite these restrictions, a PPC manager can use Facebook’s “interest” targeting feature for credit promotions. 

This feature allows you to target users flagged for expressing interest in reward programs like cashback. This distinction is allowed because “interest” is an individual choice and not tied to demographics.


The final category is ads that link to or describe job opportunities, including:

  • Full-time jobs or part-time jobs
  • Internships or similar employment opportunities
  • A professional certificate program
  • Job boards or job fairs
  • Ads promoting the benefits of working at a specific company

A workaround for this special category restriction might include targeting interests related to the industry, role, or certificate program. For example, an ad for a public policy position could target users who expressed interest in government or politics.

In other words, ad targeting through Facebook advertising can still be managed by restricting your audience size and focusing on interests.

Can rejected ads be appealed?

No system is perfect. 

When analyzing your ad set accounts, you may discover your ads have been rejected. 

An ad is generally rejected because Meta believes it should fall under the Special Ad category. However, sometimes you may disagree with their decision, so what do you do?

If this happens, Facebook will send an email notification with a link to Account Quality, where you can find the reason for the ad rejection. 

You can then file an appeal to request a review of the ad, taking up to four days to complete. Facebook also allows you to troubleshoot the ad.

Some of the reasons an ad might be rejected include:

  • Prohibited content
  • Referencing prohibited content
  • The misuse of Instagram or Facebook logos in your copy
  • A non-functional landing page that doesn’t match your ad promotion copy

Facebook Special Ad Category—Conclusion

The rules for marketing and social media platforms, not just Facebook, are dynamic and constantly changing. 

Keeping yourself apprised of the shifting landscape of marketing policies and techniques is a full-time job.

Facebook gives some information regarding their policy changes. But to keep on top of all your PPC marketing, most companies turn to professionals like Denver PPC.

Denver PPC’s experienced, professional Colorado-based team combines data, marketing expertise, and over a decade of experience to yield guaranteed PPC results consistently.

Check us out, and see why so many companies turn to Denver PPC for their marketing solutions.