Facebook advertisers are required to designate a new campaign as a Special Ad Category campaign if it falls under any of these 4 classifications: Housing, Employment, Credit, or Politics. We’ve previously discussed Housing, Employment and Credit ads in our Special Ad Category blog post written before political and election ads were added to this Special Ad Category list. Housing, Employment, and Credit ads have limited targeting options whereas Social Issues, Elections, or Politics ads require the advertisers to become authorized to run those ads and require use of a disclaimer.

Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know about running political or election ads on Facebook, and the process to become authorized to run those political or elections ads.

Getting Authorized to Run Political or Elections Ads on Facebook

Getting Authorized to Run Political or Elections Ads on Facebook

When viewing the Special Ad Categories section while creating a new Facebook ad campaign, you’ll be shown a drop down menu of the 4 Special Ad Category choices after clicking on the checkbox. Facebook describes the Social Issues, Elections or Politics ad category as: “Ads about social issues (such as the economy, or civil and social rights), elections, or political figures or campaigns.”

Facebook Special Ads Category with Politics 

Facebook provides more details on what ads qualify as social issues, politics, or elections: 

Ads about social issues, elections or politics are:

  • Made by, on behalf of, or about a candidate for public office, a political figure, a political party or advocates for the outcome of an election to public office; or
  • About any election, referendum, or ballot initiative, including “go out and vote” or election campaigns; or
  • About social issues in any place where the ad is being placed; or
  • Regulated as political advertising.

More information about Facebook’s Social, Political, and Election ads can be found here.

The authorization process varies by country. For a full list of authorization steps by country, visit this link. This post will focus on the process for authorization to run social issue, political, and election ads in the US.

Steps for Authorization to Run Facebook Ads for Politics or Elections

Here’s a look at the authorization checklist:

Ad authorization checklist

Before you begin the ad authorization process, you’ll need to:

  • Be the Page admin or advertiser on the Page from which you’re running ads about social issues, elections or politics. If you’re not a Page admin or advertiser, you should ask an admin on the Page to add you as an admin or share this content with the Page admin and have them complete the ad authorization. A Page must have at least one Page admin with confirmed identity. This person doesn’t have to be the one that created a specific disclaimer in order to use it. Only the Page admin can create or edit disclaimers for the country the ads will run in. Advertisers can create ads with disclaimers without Page admin permissions, as long as they aren’t creating or editing disclaimers.
  • Have the following unexpired materials and information available:

    • A US passport, driver’s license or ID card
    • A US-based residential mailing address

When you click on check box next to Social Issues, Politics, and Elections in the Special Ads Category drop down, you’ll see that you need to confirm your identity as well as create a disclaimer that will be run with the ads. Start by click on the blue Confirm ID button.

Ad authorization checklist Before you begin the ad authorization process, you'll need: Be the Page admin or advertiser on the Page from which you're running ads about social issues, elections or politics. If you're not a Page admin or advertiser, you should ask an admin on the Page to add you as an admin or share this content with the Page admin and have them complete the ad authorization. A Page must have at least one Page admin with confirmed identity. This person doesn't have to be the one that created a specific disclaimer in order to use it. Only the Page admin can create or edit disclaimers for the country the ads will run in. Advertisers can create ads with disclaimers without Page admin permissions, as long as they aren't creating or editing disclaimers. Have two-factor authentication enabled. Have the following unexpired materials and information available: A US passport, driver's license or ID card A US-based residential mailing address 

You’ll have to re-enter your Facebook password, and then will be redirected to the Identity Confirmation tab within your Profile’s Account Settings.

Confirm your Identity on Facebook

Click the Start Identity Confirmation button and choose Social Issues, Politics, and Elections.

Next, choose your country from the drop down menu and re-enter your password.

Get started setting your primary location. If two-factor authentication is not already turned on, you’ll need to do so.

Confirm your identity with Facebook

The 2 pieces of information Facebook needs to confirm your primary country location is:

Primary Country Location
We need to confirm the country you’re based in. We’ll do this by checking your information and activity on Facebook and asking for a residential mailing address.
 
Personal ID
This ID must be a US passport, driver’s license or state ID. We might also ask you some questions to help ensure the ID belongs to you.
 
Next, you’ll need to enter your mailing address for Facebook to mail you a letter with a link and confirmation code to enter.
Choose ID form to provide to Facebook
 
Last, you’ll need to choose what form of identification to take a picture of and upload.
Upload your ID to confirm your identity on Facebook
After uploading the photos of your chosen type of ID, it takes Facebook a few minutes to analyze the images. Once that’s completed, you’ll see the Thanks for Submitting screen.
Identity information submitted to Facebook
The last step to finish this process is when you receive the letter in the mail. It has a PIN code you need to enter at Facebook.com/ID.
 
Political Identity confirmation from Facebook

You’ll see that both steps are completed once you’d entered your PIN.

Both steps completed for political Facebook ad approval

Even though my license photo uploads were initially approved, I needed to re-upload them. After doing so, there were a few additional questions I had to answer.

Confirm address for Facebook election ads

Identity confirmation question for Facebook ads

Eventually, you’ll land on this screen and your entire Facebook ads verification process will be complete.

Identity confirmed to run political elections and social issues ads

Here are a couple other Facebook Help links related to running political or elections ads:

 

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