What to do when your Facebook Ad is Flagged for Unusual Activity



By Nazia Khan-Ahmed

Facebook has a quite intricate system of rules for their ads, and they can often be unpredictable with their enforcement. If you need any proof of that, all you need to do is to conduct a bit of research on the history of the 20% text rule for ads. On the other hand, once you are banned, they’re very sharp at tracking you and making sure any future accounts you try to make to evade a ban are banned as well. It’s a bad state, the ambiguous nature of their ban details doesn’t help with anything.

There are other unfortunate times where you see that your ad has been rejected on the basis of ‘Unusual Activity’. Now you are on the witch hunt and trying to find the reasons why your ad has been rejected and what is the unusual activity that caused the glitch. You are provided with the contact email address, but it seldom works as you can understand that they are swamped with thousands of emails received. There is only a small number of emails anyone can handle.

Well, the resolution of issue requires investigation and it really takes a lot of time working through tickets. The time that you can spend towards something productive.

So, this article is about the issues that might be causing the unusual activity. I will also discuss the way to overcome this problem in the best possible manner.


Discrepancy Between Account and Billing Name

Well this is just the first turn of this labyrinth. This issue trips a lot of people.

When you run an ads account, even if you’re running it from a page, you’re running it from a page linked to a personal profile. That’s the mechanism of pages. Even if you’re running it through their business manager as part of a team, somewhere there’s a name on file as the person running the page.

The issue people come across is when the name on their billing is different from the title that’s attached to the page and ads account. It’s perfectly reasonable for that to occur. You might be using your partner’s card, a PayPal with your maiden name, or heck, maybe you got married and changed your page name but it hasn’t caught up with all of your financial details yet.

The apprehension is, as far as Facebook is concerned, there’s no way to tell the difference between you using financials you’re authorized to use and you using an embezzled credit card. They don’t want to deal with chargebacks and financial fraud, because it’s very costly, both in terms of the fees they have to pay and the time consumed

Sure, there are some authentic explanations for a name disconnect, but at the end of the day, it’s simply easier and cheaper for Facebook to proactively limit people with that inconsistency than it is to filter them and deal with the issues that comes to surface when a problem arises.


The Things Common with Banned Ads

This is the second most common reason. If you’ve ever had an ad rejected, it’s completely possible that all the things about that ad have been added to the system and considered as a red flag. If you directly try to make another ad using same content, it will be flagged as well. This includes small variations on copy, the same picture, or the same landing page. Trying to use something Facebook flagged in the past will probably get your entire account flagged, and that leads to further difficulties.

Any time an ad disobeys guidelines and is rejected or removed, Facebook is instructing you something. Avoid making the same mistake twice and you’ll be in a better situation.


Facebook’s Firm Stand About Payments


There is no doubt that Facebook takes its financial matters very seriously, Well, who doesn’t?

Anytime you use an invalid mode of payment that Facebook doesn’t accept or is declined, you go into the whirlpool of rejection. Their entire billing process is screwed up.

I’ll tell you the modes of payment they do accept

Make payments through their mentioned currency list or else they won’t accept the payment.


  • Argentine Peso (ARS)
  • Australian Dollars (AUD)
  • Bolivian Boliviano (BOB)
  • British Pound (GBP)
  • Brazilian Real (BRL) *
  • Canadian Dollars (CAD)
  • Chilean Peso (CLP)
  • Chinese Yuan (CNY)
  • Colombian Peso (COP)
  • Costa Rican Colon (CRC)
  • Czech Republic Koruna (CZK)
  • Danish Krone (DKK)
  • Euro (EUR)
  • Guatemalan Quetzal (GTQ)
  • Honduran Lempira (HNL)
  • Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
  • Hungarian Forint (HUF)
  • Icelandic Krona (ISK)
  • Indian Rupee (INR)
  • Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
  • Israeli New Shekel (ILS)
  • Japanese Yen (JPY)
  • Macanese Pataca (MOP)
  • Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)
  • Mexican Peso (MXN)
  • New Taiwan Dollar (TWD)
  • New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
  • Nicaraguan Cordoba (NIO)
  • Nigerian Naira (NGN)
  • Norwegian Krone (NOK)
  • Paraguayan Guarani (PYG)
  • Peruvian Nuevo Sol (PEN)
  • Philippine Peso (PHP)
  • Polish Zloty (PLN)
  • Qatari Rials (QAR)
  • Romanian Leu (RON)
  • Russian Rouble (RUB)
  • Saudi Riyal (SAR)
  • Singapore Dollar (SGD)
  • South African Rand (ZAR)
  • South Korean Won (KRW)
  • Swedish Krona (SEK)
  • Swiss Fanc (CHF)
  • Thai Baht (THB)
  • Turkish Lira (TRY)
  • UAE Dirham (AED)
  • Uruguay Peso (UYU)
  • US Dollars (USD)
  • Venezuelan Bolivar (VEF) **
  • Vietnamese Dong (VND)

Another pointer for you is to use your debit cards in credit mode. You can use MasterCard, American Express, or Discover cards. You can also use PayPal to make your payments.

There are some modes of payment that are banned because scammers have been using it to make fake payments. If you use a reported stolen credit card your account will be banned for life.


What Violates Facebook’s Ad Policy Guidelines

There are different guidelines that Facebook enforces but they can be quite complicated. There is no specific ban on various pages but if you think your page isn’t violating any rules you can still use ads. I am going to be quite straight forward with the guidelines as no one has the time to read long and monotonous paragraphs.

  • Use the text that takes up just the 20% of the photo that you have selected to use in the ad. Use Facebook’s grid tool to determine that. You have to be meticulous to make the ratio seem right as it is quite the trick.
  • Don’t use Facebook’s logo don’t use it as any part of speech not a noun, pronoun or verb. Don’t alter the logo and try to use it.
  • Don’t advertise restricted products like alcohol, cigarettes, weapons or any of the adult services without the permission to the age appropriate audience. You have to first categorize your page as the adult type so it will make this whole process very easy.
  • Never promote illegal things like medications, drugs, steroids, bullets, banned supplements and explosives. This isn’t looney toons where everyone has access to TNT.
  • You also cannot sell family planning medications and contraceptives, neither the services not the products.
  • Don’t use images that are copyright, anyone’s private information, a watermark, a registered trademark because it will get you in hot water.
  • Don’t use sexually suggestive images and explicit content. Don’t think that nudes from the 16th century are safe from ban, because they aren’t!
  • Gore, blood and shocking imagery isn’t allowed either. There are many things that disgusts everyone, try not to do that. I mean in an ad would you like seeing a zombie eating fresh brain of a teenager? No, while not having dinner at least. Well, there you have it!
  • You cannot use anyone personal information and anything that is specifically suggesting something about a certain race, creed, disability, sexual orientation, financial status, age etc.
  • Don’t use a broken landing page or the one that doesn’t work anymore. There are some pages that doesn’t load. They are in the same category. Don’t use the pages that make the users redirect as well.
  • Don’t advertise any malware or support hacking. If your page has any suggestion that it supports hackers it will not be advertised.
  • Don’t use deception as well, on Facebook that doesn’t work. You cannot make a fake button and ask people to press the button, I mean who doesn’t want to press a suspicious red button in the middle of their screen. But it’s not Ok. What happens is that this button leads to the landing page of the website. Another way of deception is by adding a video play button and not putting an actual video there. I mean come on, I clicked to watch a video and instead I am being directed to the landing page.
  • Never post before use and after use pictures as well. Doesn’t matter if you’re running a health club or a fitness center or just enjoy selling people fairness creams. Really doesn’t matter if the case is real or the clear skin is 100% original.
  • Don’t advertise gambling sites despite the temptation of luring thousands of people to lose their money. You shouldn’t also advertise online pharmacy, supplements or any subscription services without getting proper authorization from the People Up There.



How to Fix a Flagged Account

If you are suffering from any one of these, Facebook will try to help you or at least pretend to. They will ask for some information like driver’s license or any other information they might ask you to fill. They might ask you to remove the offensive part in the ad and decide to not to run it again.


The worst thing you can do is be proactive about it. It really is bad, but if you try to contact them on phone and from email it will take you back right where you started. This is a major setback in this. Because you will spend days writing an email and making this phones call.

Facebook has a limited number of employees and an infinite number to users that handle them. I mean there is more than 200,000 users for just one employee.

I mean this is unfair that you keep on sending one email and get on the nerves of that representative. There is a solid chance that they might ignore you on the whole and attend to new complaints.

The process to resolve this issue is quite simple but quite painstaking and worth every bit of patience you have left. There is something you can do about it and here it is

  1. Go through the list of errors in detail and check the list of issues they have sent. You can have an idea of what went wrong.
  2. Work towards fixing the problem as much and as quickly as possible.
  3. Completely fill the tickets or any forms required and all relevant information.
  4. Keep track of everything you have sent or received. Keep a paper trail.
  5. Always be patient and let Facebook handle the tickets.
  6. Keep checking your emails to see if Facebook has sent you any warning emails or is there anything you might have overlooked.

What You Can Use Instead of Facebook Ads

If there is nothing you can do you can always try to find any alternatives, you can find to advertise. I will make it easy for you and enlist the options.


  • Google’s AdWords

They appear on a lot of sites and Google searches themselves on YouTube Videos.


  • mMedia Mobile Advertising

this is an ad networking solely focused around North America and it targets mobile devices.


  • Native advertising

This appears to seem like actual site content when the audience views it. Actually it is on a different site.

  • Direct marketing

You can hire freelancers to do the direct marketing for you.


  • Advertising on other social networks

You can use other social media platforms to advertise like Twitter Reddit or LinkedIn. You know that many of your audience is already using these platforms.


  • Purchased Traffic

You can use a third party site and aim it to send users your way. This will allow you to use Facebook as the headquarter for marketing. It will also help you to separate from the ads system of Facebook.

Doesn’t matter what your choice is, as long as you are going forward and looking for option to increase the advertising capability of your page. You have to get the require information to get your page in the right direction.


About the Author 

Nazia Khan- Ahmed is a Social Media Writer who has majored in Textile Designing. Also Holds Bachelor’s degree in Education and English Language Certification. Finds it impossible to discuss herself in third person but is doing so as per the demands of this bio. She is a home-maker and teaches Textile Designing to degree classes at the same time. Being nocturnal has taught her to manage her work in the night and her home at day time.