Facebook Special Ad Categories

Small businesses and solopreneurs using Facebook advertising to reach audiences for housing, credit, or employment opportunities may be required to identify their ads as a Special Ad Category ad. Facebook created the Special Ads Category to prevent discrimination in advertising and by demographics, and ads run in these 3 industries needs to be marked as being a Special Ad Category ad in order to comply with Facebook’s advertising policy,

Facebook defines these 3 Special Ad Categories as:

  • Credit Opportunity: Ads that promote or directly link to a credit opportunity, including but not limited to credit card offers, auto loans, personal or business loan services, mortgage loans and long-term financing. This also includes brand ads for credit cards, regardless of a specific offer.
  • Employment Opportunity: Ads that promote or directly link to an employment opportunity, including but not limited to part- or full-time jobs, internships or professional certification programs. Related ads that fall within this category include promotions for job boards or fairs, aggregation services or ads detailing perks a company may provide, regardless of a specific job offer.
  • Housing Opportunity or Related Service: Ads that promote or directly link to a housing opportunity or related service, including but not limited to listings for the sale or rental of a home or apartment, homeowners insurance, mortgage insurance, mortgage loans, housing repairs and home equity or appraisal services. This does not include ads designed to educate consumers or housing providers about their rights and responsibilities under fair housing laws. You can include the Equal Opportunity Housing logo and slogan to help differentiate your ads as non-discriminatory.

NOTE: Facebook added Political, Social Issues, and Elections as a 4th Special Ad Category. Read about getting authorized to run ads like that in this blog post.

Next, we’ll look at what you need to know – and how you are impacted – when creating your Special Ad Category Facebook ad.

Facebook Special Ad Categories

Facebook Special Ad Categories

To begin with, you’ll need to know where to locate the Special Ad Category section inside Facebook Ads Manager. Above where you select your marketing objective and name your campaign, you’ll see the Special Ad Category section.

Select Special Ad Category box

First, check the box next to “I’m creating a campaign for ads in the Special Ad Category”. Once you do, you’ll be presented with a drop-down menu to select which Special Ad category your new ad campaign falls under.

Select which Special Ad Category for your Facebook Ad

You can choose from all of the same Marketing Objectives that you normally would, and overall, the ad creation process remains the same. The only difference is when you get to the Audience section.

Facebook Special Ad Category Audience Targeting

You’ll notice that the look of the ad build process has grey colorings and the bar at the top that reads, “Special Ad Category”, followed by whichever of the 3 you chose. All the way over on the right, you can click to “See Details” of the targeting, point by point.

For example, with Housing ads, age and gender cannot be changed from the default settings, you cannot target by zip code, and each city you select automatically includes a 15 mile radius. Lookalike audiences are not available. Saved audiences are also unavailable. You can still use a Custom audience but need to make sure any custom audience doesn’t discriminate on personal characteristics.

Creating audience with special ad category Facebook ads

Continuing down to the Detailed Targeting section, you’ll notice that you have a very finite set of targeting options to choose from. As you type something into the field, it’ll auto-populate targeting choices for you like normal, just a much shorter, more specific list of choices. For Housing ads, you have choices like Realtor(dot)com, Trulia, and Zillow, mortgage loans, first-time homebuyer, luxury real estate, and single family home. Once you select at least one targeting point, you can click on Suggestions to see more.

Suggested targeting options with Special Ad Categories  

After you finish selecting your detailed targeting, you’ll finish up building your Facebook campaign as usual.



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