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If you have been advertising on Facebook for a while, you’ve probably noticed the targeting changes that hit in June of 2019. This was the result of the March 2019 discrimination settlement between Facebook and the National Fair Housing Alliance, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Communications Workers of America and other private parties.

Facebook then put into place what is now known as Special Ad Categories to prevent advertisers from discriminating based on gender, age and race with any ads dealing with housing, employment and credit opportunities. You can target people in a specific location, but it will include a 15-mile radius around whatever city, address or pin-drop you select to target.

These guidelines seem clear enough, but if you work in the automotive vertical, you learned early on that all of your advertisements for automotive are now flagged as Special Ad Category, regardless of your ad’s focus.

Take for example, an ad running a simple buy back message as shown below.

This ad has nothing to do with credit or financing, but it does send the customer back to the dealership website that has a Finance tab on the homepage. Most dealerships have Finance departments and tabs appearing on their websites that automatically makes the campaigns Special Ad Category based on Facebook’s guidelines. In general, any ad linked to a page that could be related to a credit opportunity or possible financing option or credit application will be flagged as Special Ad Category.

So, does that mean Facebook advertising is now limited to only brand awareness campaigns and cannot focus on the bottom of the funnel shoppers?

Thankfully, our agency and clients benefit from our partnership with Oracle Data Cloud. We are able to layer in custom audiences built from unique purchase-based data, that includes vehicle make and model, in-market segments, and shoppers’ lifestyle. Facebook’s system automatically filters these Custom Audiences to ensure compliance.

Another valuable tool is your own customer data that can be uploaded into Facebook to create your own Custom Audience to be used within Special Ad Category ads.

We agree with preventing any type of discrimination and promoting fairness and inclusion, and now with our Oracle data we can be relevant to consumers by giving them the right message at the right time, all while eliminating waste for our clients.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can use the power of our Oracle data or your own CRM data to improve your Facebook advertising.