What is a Special Ad Category campaign?

Author Cat Cumming 3 min read time

Not many advertisers know about Special Ad Categories, what they are, how to use them and most importantly when to use them – often it comes too late and your ads get rejected. If you think you might want to advertise in the below categories, it could be worth knowing the steps you need to take before setting those ads live. 

  • Social issues, elections, or politics.
  • Credit Opportunities. 
  • Employment Opportunities.
  • Housing Opportunities or related services. 

If you are, you’ll need to know all about Special Ad Categories and what they are. To run these specialised ads you will need to be approved by Facebook. This can sometimes be a long process or only a couple of days (you never know with Facebook). 

The process includes sending your ID to Facebook and other forms to verify your identity. You will also need somewhere to have Facebook send a code in the post to help in verifying your business location. 

Once you have (finally) been verified by Facebook you will be able to select the ‘Special Ad Categories’ at campaign level and choose the category you will be running ads for.

The reason for having to put these ads into a specific campaign is to prevent discrimination in targeting. All these types of ads need to be shown to a broad audience, see the limitations you have below in terms of targeting:

  • Audiences are fixed to 18 to 65+.
  • All genders are fixed.
  • Postal code selection is not available. The selected location must include 15-mile/ 25km radius.
  • Detailed targeting is not an option- e.g. demographics, behaviours or interests.
  • LAL’s are not available.
  • Custom audiences are available but must not discriminate based on personal characteristics.
  • Using saved audiences is not available.

If you are unsure on whether your ads qualify for running in a special ad category, try contacting support before going through the lengthy process of getting approved. 


Some bonus top tips when talking to support:

  • They won’t always be helpful, jump off and start a new chat with some else who might be able to help. 
  • It can be frustrating but be nice and professional – they will be more likely to help you. 
  • And always ask for a time frame on when the issue might be sorted – then you know when to follow up with them.