What do Facebook’s new election rules mean for your digital strategy?

September 10, 2020

Last week, Facebook announced new ad policies aimed at tightening its Election Day advertising reigns. The point of the new policies is to mitigate disinformation during the days immediately preceding the election. Net-net for businesses, while ads that focus on social issues, elections and politics in the US can still have edits made to targeting, or even be paused if needed, there will be a period of time before the election where ad creative and copy cannot be changed.

The details of the new policies are as follows:

  • Facebook (and Instagram) advertisers will not be able to create new ads about social issues, elections or politics in the US between October 27 and November 3 (Election Day). This will provide time for advertisers to ensure their campaigns are accurate and allow the content of these ads to be seen, discussed, and responded to before the polls close.
  • Ads about social issues, election or politics in the US that are approved and delivering impressions prior to October 27 will be allowed to continue through November 3, although advertisers will not be able to edit certain aspects of these ads, such as ad creative (including image/video assets, destination, and text), placement, and optimization. Advertisers will still be able to update targeting, budget and bids for these ads on or after October 27.

Since there is a high likelihood that something societally significant will happen right before Election Day, businesses should prepare as much as possible for these restrictions and be ready with alternative social strategies based on changing circumstances.

ROKK’s digital team recommends all businesses consider the following steps to prepare:

  • Identify category content early: Make sure your team knows what types of content might fall into the social issue, government or politics category. Be sure to have proper authentication for advertising in this bucket.
  • Focus on evergreen messaging: Avoid inadvertently creating new chains of disinformation by ensuring content is as evergreen as possible. Remember that you can still pause or shift targeting for potentially outdated ads accordingly throughout election week.
  • Complete system set-up in advance: Ensure ads about social issues, election or politics are set up in the system as far in advance as possible, because system review and approval times will likely get hours or even days longer as the election gets closer.
  • Review in-market messages: Plan a review of all relevant ads between October 22 and 24, with all changes to ad creative, placement and optimization submitted to Facebook by October 24 at the latest. Ensure all necessary stakeholders for those changes are aware of the review period and ready to provide feedback and approvals.
  • Leverage other platforms for additional promotional inclusion and last-minute changes: Should something come up where an applicable creative edit or optimization is needed between October 27-November 3, have other viable digital advertising platforms and accounts already in motion and/or set up and ready to launch.
  • Stay up-to-date on changing policies: Be on the lookout for other platforms to potentially follow Facebook’s lead and create similar rules, or for Facebook to extend this new policy in the event that a clear winner of the election is not available on November 3.

Whether your team needs help managing through last-minute digital communications updates, revising their channel and messaging strategy or preparing for the unexpected, ROKK’s digital team can help you prepare for and navigate through this sure-to-be exciting election cycle.

For more information, please contact Rachel Winer at