Financial marketers staggered by Facebook’s radical ad rule changes

Many methods of targeting consumer groups on the mega social media advertising platform have been curtailed or limited. Experts say banks and credit unions must adapt to the new anti-discriminatory rules — and pay more on top of that. Adjustments include rethinking how to sift among prospects legitimately and reimagining how to use Facebook in your paid marketing.

Banks and credit unions accustomed to rapidly ramping up their ad campaigns on Facebook have been getting surprised with “your ads have been disapproved” emails amid the adoption of changed rules for ads concerning credit, recruitment and anything housing-related.

The new Facebook policies, resulting from a legal settlement reached with anti-discrimination groups, became effective in late August 2019 after being announced in March. Broadly, they impact how specifically any advertiser (within the three business areas mentioned) can target individuals to receive its messages on the social media channel. In some ways targeting as institutions used to do it will not be possible.

“Where before we’d make strategic recommendations to segment and target audiences with different creative and messaging — for example, using female characters in ads targeting a female audience — that is no longer possible with these changes,” says James Robert Lay, CEO at the Digital Growth Institute. “So, in essence, we’re moving back to more broadcast-like messaging of one-to-many communication.”


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