Facebook recently rolled out a new system for posting ads related to credit, employment, or housing. Unfortunately, automotive ads are viewed by Facebook as credit ads because they bring people to websites that talk about loans, long-term financing, and other related opportunities. Even if your ad has a landing page that doesn’t reference loans or other related topics, Facebook counts your entire site in their determination of credit ads. As a result, some audience selection options are unavailable for these types of ads.


Housing, employment, and credit ads can be discriminating in their targeting. As a result, Facebook made these policy changes to prevent such discrimination. This decision is directly related to recent FTC rulings that are punishing Facebook for data privacy breaches such as the recent Cambridge Analytica breach. With these new changes, Facebook is trying to prove they are protecting privacy going forward.


What’s Changed

Going forward, Facebook will be enforcing the following ad requirements:

  • Targeting a zip code will no longer be possible
  • Your location selection must include all areas within a 15-mile radius of any selected city, address, or dropped pin. You will no longer be able to target a location smaller than that radius.
  • The 18 – 65+ age range is now fixed and may not be modified for targeting purposes.
  • The “All” gender option is now fixed and can’t be changed
  • Some detailed targeting options (such as demographics, behaviors, or interests) are unavailable.
  • You will no longer be able to target people who are interested in specific brand (such as Audi, Toyota, or Honda), but you can still target people interested in the automotive industry, sedans, SUVs, trucks, luxury vehicles, etc.

What This Means for You

For most of our Tier 3 clients, you will not notice a change, nor do we expect your results to diminish or even change noticeably. We’ve been utilizing general location targeting long before the implementation of these changes in Facebook’s advertising policies, and we do not specify age or gender in the Facebook ads we create for you. We also utilize Facebook Pixel, an analytics tool that allows us to measure the effectiveness of our ads by understanding the actions people take on our websites, for all our clients.


The only place where these changes might become impactful is for our Tier 2 clients. While all of our targeting is currently done by zip code, we have a Tier 2 representative at Facebook with whom we are working closely to ensure we are in complete compliance going forward with Facebook’s new Special Ads Category.


Bear in mind that this will be a slow transition. Enforcement began on August 26, 2019, but we can continue to duplicate old ad sets (without opting into a “special ads” category) for the rest of the year. We will do our utmost to keep you informed of any changes that might impact your ads, and we appreciate the trust you have placed with us as a valued client.