Here were the resources we covered in the episode:
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Have you ever had your LinkedIn Ads get disapproved for any reason? We’re talking about ad guidelines and disapproval process on this week’s episode of the LinkedIn Ads Show.
Welcome to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Here’s your host, AJ Wilcox.
Hey there LinkedIn Ads fanatics! Every ad platform needs to protect itself legally from allowing the bad actors to advertise in a harmful way. They do this by having your ads go through some sort of an approval process. This helps the platform to prevent any harmful ads from running on its platform. And of course, the platform being held accountable for that. LinkedIn is certainly no different. All of its ads go through some sort of a review process. And review processes are understandably complex, they kind of have to be, and this is for every platform. So today, we’re going to talk specifically about LinkedIn’s.
In the news, I wanted to let you know that a bunch of the members of my team were trying to run campaign reports inside of campaign manager to find the campaign quality score. And like we talked about in episode 72, there are a few reasons why your campaign might not be eligible to show its campaign quality score. But from what we could see, our campaigns weren’t being held back by any of those reasons that would keep them from showing the quality score. So we reached out to LinkedIn and got a good response back. They said, “Our technical escalations and engineering teams have confirmed the issue. It’s currently an issue that other advertisers are seeing as well. At this time, there’s no estimate as to how long it might take to resolve, we’ll do our best to provide progress updates as they become available.” So I will do the same thing for you. When we hear back from LinkedIn. I’ll let you know. Other news here. I actually got married, which is why you haven’t heard from me in about the last three weeks. The wedding went amazing. We took a honeymoon cruise, we went down the Western Caribbean. And it was right during hurricane Ian the cruise was supposed to stop in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, both I was really excited to see. But we didn’t end up going we had to veer back towards Mexico and stay there while the hurricane was passing. So we did a couple stops in Mexico, it was still wonderful. I’ve got no complaints. Certainly happy to avoid any hurricanes while I’m on a floating petri dish. And a sincere thank you to everyone who messaged or emailed to say congratulations on the wedding. All right on to the topic at hand. Let’s hit it.
So back in 2011, when I first started using LinkedIn Ads, the ad review process used to be 100% manual. That means every single ad that was published a human it would go into a queue and a human would look at it and decide whether the ad needed to be approved or disapproved and they’d hit the button. And there were all kinds of mistakes, too. If you tried enough times, you could get to a reviewer who would either mistakenly hit the approve button when it should have been disapproved or vice versa. It was a little crazy. And because it was all human reviewed, the process would sometimes take up to three days to get an ad approve. Then probably five or six years ago, LinkedIn shifted some of the burden of the review team by allowing some ads to be conditionally approved, or, as we might say, automatically approved. And this is something they did and probably still do for what they call trusted accounts. And I’m not sure what signals to LinkedIn trust. Maybe a certain amount of history of the account, or a spend level, or a lack of complaints about your ads, or your credit card not ever going down. I don’t know what the signals are, they could be any thing like that or other combinations. And if LinkedIn ever went back and found they didn’t like the ads, even though they were conditionally or automatically approved, they could be disapproved later. Now, I’m not entirely certain about how it works now, but I would guess that there’s now some help with machine learning involved on LinkedIn side to help find ads to disapprove. And then humans can handle appeals. There’s probably still quite a bit of human involvement, but I wouldn’t be surprised with LinkedIn being a tech company if there’s not some ML or AI kinds of stuff going on there too. If you go into LinkedIn’s Help section and search for the ad guidelines, you’ll find a help article called Advertising Guidelines. It says it was last updated in 2021 Back in January, and this article has a great list of things that LinkedIn cares about reasons that they might want to disallow an ad from running. I’m going to read off some of the reasons that they might disapprove an ad and then give you a little bit of color if I’ve got some.
So the first is accuracy do not deceive or lie to the members. We found that this relates to claims that might be too good to be true. The next one is advertising text and contact information. Do not use non standard spelling, grammar, capitalization, punctuation, or repetition. You can include a single link and either a single email address or phone number. This is a little bit vague, but what we’ve found is they can disallow your ads, if you have too many symbols, or too many emojis, or even too many exclamation marks. This one’s pretty self explanatory here, discrimination, even if legal in the applicable jurisdiction. LinkedIn does not allow ads that advocate, promote or contain discriminatory hiring practices, or denial of education, housing, or economic opportunity, blah, blah, blah, basically, don’t leave anyone out. You can also see this from LinkedIn, not allowing you to exclude with some of the targeting. For instance, you can’t exclude by group. And I think the thought there is if someone joins a group because of, let’s say, a race, or sexual orientation or anything like that, they wouldn’t want you to exclude that group, just to get rid of those people from your your targeting, which makes perfect sense to me, I get it and fully support it. Language. Don’t use inappropriate or offensive language. And I have found that some swear words are allowed, but others aren’t. So feel free to test or don’t, I would advocate making the world a better place by keeping your language classy. But feel free to try it out. We’ve done some of that testing before. The next one link behavior. Don’t deceive, confused or otherwise degrade the experience of members who click on your ads. Basically be a good advertiser, makes sense to me. This one’s interesting, prohibited products. Do not advertise adult content, affiliate advertising, alcohol, copyrighted content, counterfeit goods, data collection and privacy. Not quite sure what they mean by that. Drugs and related products, fake documents, gambling, hacking and cracking, health matters, loans and financial services, occult pursuits, I had to look that up, hat’s like tarot card reading and fortune tellers and witchery and all that opposition, I’m not quite sure what they mean by opposition, political or religious content – exceptions apply, scams, questionable downloads, tobacco, weapons, and fireworks. And it’s interesting to me, cryptocurrency used to be on this list, at least I thought it was we used to get ads denied for anything around crypto around initial coin offerings, or basically anything that talks about Bitcoin, but it’s not currently in this list. And this list was updated back in 2021. So we’ll come back to that here in a minute. The next one, sensitive content. Don’t advertise illegal products, dating sites, gambling, hate or violence, weapons, again, which are dually, excluded. Financial Status, I’m not quite sure what financial status sensitive content is. Maybe it’s the Tai Lopez style, like this is me on my Lamborghini in my garage, multilevel marketing programs, so MLMs aren’t allowed to advertise on LinkedIn. That’s great to know, inflammatory, religious or political content, and more. And then finally, trademarks. Do not use trademarks you are not legally permitted to use.
So going back to crypto, this was really interesting to me, because I went to go look at another, this is actually a web page. Both of these are linked to in the show notes. And it’s a whole website about LinkedIn Ads policies. And it’s actually really great. And it’s much more detailed than what I just read to you. It goes into a lot of examples and things about the reasons why things are disapproved and what’s allowed and what’s not. So if you get something disapproved, it’s probably a really good idea to go and look at that, read in more detail and see how you can get back into compliance. What’s interesting, though, is that the ads policy, it was last updated in December of 2020. So about a month before the ad guidelines I just shared with you, and it does mention cryptocurrency or anything related to crypto. So I’m curious to hear from you guys if anyone is actively advertising a lot of crypto, if you end up seeing issues with your ads always being disapproved. It might just be the in the ad guidelines, they forgot to list crypto, but under ads policy they did. Or maybe they used to disapprove it and then as of January of 2021, they now allow it. I’m not sure I’d love to hear from you guys on that. Here’s a quick sponsor break and then we’ll dive into the guidelines for your creative.
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So I talked to Eric Jones on our team, one of our directors, and I just asked him about the experience on LinkedIn. And he also has experience with Facebook and Google. So I wanted to share with you some of the points of what he talked walkabout. First he talked about how on Facebook and ad appeal process is near impossible. He said it’s set up in a way that it should be easy, but they’re way too large of an organization to ever dedicate a human to something. So all the appeals and all the disapprovals are done by computers and computers get things wrong sometimes. And then when you do appeal, there’s no communication, you appeal and you wait, and the process can take days. So Eric said, LinkedIn is actually really good. You’re working with real people. You get live email notifications when a case is being processed and reviewed. And he said, it’s usually the day of, but worst case you hear back the next day. And they’ll let you know in the email, usually what needs to be fixed. So if you have done something wrong, you can fix it. But if you feel like your ads were totally disapproved for a reason that doesn’t make sense, you’re almost always guaranteed to get it reactivated when you make your case. But if there is a little gray area, you may have to explain yourself better, and make a case for it. And if you use the guidelines that I’ve shared with you in the show notes below, you can actually quote the guidelines to them, which helps strengthen your case. But as a reminder, always be respectful and patient, because the reviewers are real people. Every once in a while, you’ll get a response back about some reason that your ads were disapproved. And this is not LinkedIn only this is every network. And you might say, that’s way too vague, I don’t even know what you’re talking about. I don’t even know what took my site down. And so it’s helpful to understand why they will give you something that is purposely very vague, large organizations like the ad platforms, they need to stay vague to keep bad actors from trying to reverse engineer and find ways around what they’re doing. So when you don’t get a very specific reason exactly why you broke a guideline, it’s definitely not because the support professional is dumb, or doesn’t understand the ads platform or doesn’t understand marketing. They’re just trying to protect themselves. All right, I’ve got the episode resources for you coming right up. So stick around
Thank you for listening to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Hungry for more? AJ Wilcox, take it away.
So in the show notes, you’ll find the three help articles that I used to find all this information. There’s the detailed explanation site on linkedin.com/legal/ads-policy. There’s the ad guidelines, and the ad disapprovals article. All three are worth bookmarking and referencing especially as you’re trying to make a case for appeals if you get something disapproved that you don’t think needed to be disapproved. Also, if you haven’t already listened to Episode 72, all about relevancy score and quality scores, definitely make that one part of your list. And if you are any of your employees are looking to learn more about LinkedIn Ads, definitely check out the course that I made with LinkedIn Learning. It’s by far the most in depth, the most accurate, and the least expensive course out there for LinkedIn Ads. LinkedIn Learning does a great job. Check that out, it’s linked to in the show notes as well. If this is your first time listening, welcome, make sure to hit that subscribe button. And if this is not your first time, welcome back and realize I put a lot of effort and so does my team and to helping create these episodes. We don’t ask you for anything. So please, please, please, the best way you can say thank you is by leaving a review, usually on Apple podcasts, but really anywhere that you have reviews available, we would love for you to shout us out. With feedback, suggestions, whatever you want to shout at us, hit us up at Podcast@B2Linked.com. And with that being said, we’ll see you back here next week. Cheering you on in your LinkedIn Ads initiatives.