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Facebook Political Ads: How to Get Authorized
Steps to get authorized to run political ads on Facebook.
By Eric Thompson Nick Lange

September 13, 2018

8 min read
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What It Is & Why It’s Important

Facebook has a rigorous process for approving political ads in the US. To run political ads, the Page Admin, Ad Account Admin and Ad Account Advertiser who all run the ad need to be authorized to do so.

The authorization process proves you are a US citizen and are a current resident. Also, all political ads will need a disclaimer showing who funded the ad, which can only be implemented and edited by an authorized person. You can read Facebook’s breakdown here.

 

Responsibilities

Advertiser’s Responsibilities

You are responsible for getting the Page Admin authorized. It’s a fairly simple process to get authorized, but it will take about 10 days for Facebook to complete it.

You are responsible for writing disclaimers, ensuring they are correct and linking ad accounts. To link an ad account, you will need an Ad Account ID which will be provided by LumenAd. There is a step-by-step guide below that takes your through the whole process.

LumenAd’s Responsibilities

LumenAd is responsible for getting the Ad Account Admin and Ad Account Advertisers authorized. Our  entire Ad Operations team is either already authorized or in the process of being authorized.

LumenAd is responsible for providing our Ad Account ID to the Advertiser.

 

What Political Ads Are

What Political Content Is

Any ad that meets the following criteria is considered a political ad.

  • Is made by, on behalf of, or about a current or former candidate for public office, a political party, a political action committee, or advocates for the outcome of an election to public office.
  • Relates to any election, referendum, or ballot initiative, including “get out the vote” or election information campaigns.
  • Relates to any national legislative issue of public importance (see below) in any place where the ad is being run.
  • Is regulated as political advertising.

National Legislative Issues of Public Importance

  • Abortion
  • Budget
  • Civil rights
  • Crime
  • Economy
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Foreign Policy
  • Government Reform
  • Guns
  • Health
  • Immigration
  • Infrastructure
  • Military
  • Poverty
  • Social Security
  • Taxes
  • Terrorism
  • Values

 

How Political Facebook Ads Look

All political ads on Facebook and Instagram now include a disclaimer that appears as a “Paid for by” message next to the “Sponsored” indication.

Facebook Political Ads Example

 

Authorization Checklist

Before your start the authorization process, you must do the following:

  • Have proof of US residency ready
  • Make sure you have the correct Page Admin tied to your Page
  • Have 2-factor authentication enabled on your Page Admin’s account
  • Have the following materials to confirm your identity:
    – A US driver’s license or US passport
    – A US-based residential mailing address
    – The last 4 digits of your Social Security Number

 

Steps to Authorization

Step 1: Get Authorized

  1. Click “Settings” in the top right corner of the Facebook Page in Business Manager
  2. In the list on the left, click “Authorizations”
  3. Below “Step 1: Confirm Your Identity” click “Get Started”
  4. Enter your mailing address and click “Send”
    You should get a confirmation notice letting you know a letter will be sent to your address. This letter will have your verification code. It should arrive within 10 days.
  5. Click “Enter ID and SSN” and select the type of ID you’d like to to upload, then click “Next”
  6. Click “Upload an Image” and upload a JPG or PNG of your chosen ID
    The image of your ID must be at least 1,500 x 1,000 pixels.
  7. Enter your zip code and click “Next”
  8. Enter the last 4 digits of your SSN and click “Next”
  9. Click “Submit”
  10. When your letter arrives, visit the URL it provides
  11. In the “Confirm Your Identity Section” enter your code, then click “Submit Code”
  12. You’re now authorized!

Step 2: Linking Ad Accounts

  1. Click “Settings” in the top right corner of the Facebook Page in Business Manager
  2. In the list on the left, click “Authorizations”
  3. Below “Step 2: Link Your Ad Accounts” click “Begin”
  4. “Accept” Facebook’s Terms and Conditions
  5. Insert the Ad Account ID provided by LumenAd, then click “Next”
  6. Each Ad you create will have a “Paid for by” Disclaimer. Create the disclaimer for the Ad Account that includes the person or entity who paid for the ads. Click “Next”

Step 3: Write Disclaimers

  1. Click “Settings” in the top right corner of your Facebook Page in Business Manager
  2. In the list on the left, click “Authorizations”
  3. Below “Step 2: Link Your Ad Accounts” click “Begin”
  4. Accept Facebook’s Terms of Service
  5. In the “Enable” section, check the box next to the ad account(s) that will be used to fund your Page’s ads that include political content, then click “Next”
    Any ad accounts tied to your profile will appear automatically. If you need to add more accounts, you’ll need the numbers associated with of the ad accounts you’d like to add.
  6. Create a disclaimer for each ad account you’ve added that includes information on the person or entity who paid for the ads, then click “Next”
    Each ad you create with your Page will have the “Paid for by” disclaimer. Your disclaimers must accurately reflect the organization or person paying for your ads. This does not take the place of other legally required disclaimers.
  7. Review your changes and click “Submit”

Step 4: Keep Things Up to Date

  1. Click “Settings” in the top right corner of the Facebook Page in Business Manager
  2. In the list on the left, click “Authorizations”
  3. To view your ad accounts, click “View” below “Step 2: Link Your Ad Accounts”
  4. To remove or add linked ad accounts, click the arrow next to “View” below “Step 2: Link Your Ad Accounts,” then click Edit.
    – Accept Facebook’s Terms of Service
    – On the “Ad Accounts” page, uncheck the box next to the ad account you’d like to remove or check the box next to the ad account you’d like to add, then click “Next”
    – On the “Edit Disclaimers” click “Next”, then “Submit”
  5. To edit a disclaimer, click the arrow next to “View” below “Step 2: Link Your Ad Accounts,” then click Edit
    – Accept Facebook’s Terms of Service
    – On the “Ad Accounts” page click “Next”
    – On the “Edit Disclaimers” page make the changes you’d like, click “Next,” then “Submit”
    If you edit your disclaimer, it will go through our review process again and will not be immediately available to use. You won’t be able to create new ads until the new disclaimer is approved.
  6. To remove all disclaimers, click the arrow next to “View” below “Step 2: Link Your Ad Accounts,” then click Edit
    – Accept Facebook’s Terms of Service
    – At the bottom of the “Ad Accounts” page click Reset Linked Ad Accounts
    – To confirm, click “Yes, Reset”

 

Things to Keep in Mind

Disclaimers Do Not Have Guaranteed Approval

For a disclaimer to be approved, it must:

  • Not include the term “Paid for by” – this term is automatically included as part of the disclaimer
  • Accurately represent the organization or person paying for the ad
  • Comply with Facebook’s Community Standards and Advertising Policies
  • Not include a URL as a part of the disclaimer
  • Contain the official name of the entity and not solely consist of an abbreviation of an official name
  • Not represent a foreign country/political figure
  • Not reference Facebook or any brand name owned by Facebook Inc. such as Instagram, Whatsapp, etc.

It’s Best If Your Facebook and Instagram Names Match

If you’ve linked your Facebook Page and Instagram accounts and want to run ads that include political content on both Facebook and Instagram, your Page name and your Instagram profile name must match exactly.

 

The Disclaimer Is Removed If Your Ad Is Shared

If someone sees and chooses to share your political ad, the shared version will be considered an organic piece of content and will no longer show the disclaimer. This is consistent with how all ads on Facebook and Instagram are treated today.

Your Ads Will be Kept in the Archive

All Facebook ads that include political content will be stored in Facebook’s Archive of Ads with Political Content for seven years. They will appear exactly how they appeared to users on Facebook or Instagram. The Archive is searchable by Subject, Audience, Funder and more.

 

Download LumenAd’s Facebook Political Authorization Process (PDF)

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