Special Ad Categories For Facebook


If your campaigns offer credit, housing, or employment opportunities, you'll be required to choose the category that best describes your ads.

These special categories for which audience selection tools are limited to help protect people on Facebook from unlawful discrimination. Choosing the correct category for your campaign is an important part of following Facebook's advertising policies

Credit opportunity: Ads that promote or directly link to a credit opportunity, including, but not limited to, credit card offers, auto loans, personal or business loan services, mortgage loans and long-term financing. This also includes brand ads for credit cards, regardless of a specific offer.

Employment opportunity: Ads that promote or directly link to an employment opportunity, including, but not limited to, part or full-time jobs, internships, or professional certification programs. Related ads that fall within this category include promotions for job boards or fairs, aggregation services or ads detailing perks that a company may provide, regardless of a specific job offer.

Housing opportunity or related service: Ads that promote or directly link to a housing opportunity or related service, including, but not limited to, listings for the sale or rental of a home or flat, homeowners insurance, mortgage insurance, mortgage loans, housing repairs and home equity or appraisal services. This does not include ads designed to educate consumers or housing providers about their rights and responsibilities under fair housing laws.


There are a few different processes you should go through in order to set up Special Ad Categories successfully.

Just follow the steps in each section below.

Setting Up A Special Ad Category

You can select a Special Ad Category when you create a campaign in Marin Social.

During the campaign creation workflow, look for the Special Ad Category drop-down.

Please note that this field cannot be edited once the campaign has been created and synced to the publisher.

Update Your Refused Ads To Comply With The Special Ad Category

If your ad set contains any non-compliant targeting, Facebook may refuse the ads and prevent them from displaying. In this scenario Marin Social will display status Refused.

To fix this issue, navigate to campaign edit form and click Update Ad Sets.

Note that this change may take a few minutes to be seen in the platform. 

Tune Your Audience Targeting And Clusters

The final step is to update your audience targeting for the Special Ad Category. You can update any saved audiences to remove non-compliant targeting. 

  1. First, navigate to Audiences > Audience Manager
  2. Select the audiences you want to modify
  3. Click Tune for Special Ad Category
  4. Here you can select the category your ads are targeting. You have the option to save changes in place or create a duplicate existing audience containing only special category compliant targeting. You can distinguish these audiences via the “_category” suffix in the audience’s name.
  5. Finally, you should carry out the same action can be done for your interest or location clusters.
    To do this, navigate to your interest or location clusters. In the Action column you will see the icon: Click it and you'll see a pop-up window where you can select the relevant ad category, then save changes to existing or new clusters.

Targeting Limitations 

There are certain limitations for ad sets in Special Ad Category campaigns, as follows:

  1. Gender: All genders
  2. Age: You must use 18-65+
  3. Location targeting:
    1. Location exclusion is not supported.
    2. Location selection must include all areas equal or larger than 15 mile or 25 kilometer radius of any selected city, address or dropped pin.
    3. The following location categories are not supported: subcity, neighborhood, metro_area, small_geo_area, subneighborhood, zips
  4. Detailed targeting:
    1. The following Interest Targeting options are not permitted: Behavior and Demographic targeting, Interest exclusion, Excluding detailed targeting selections
    2. The list of supported targeting interests is limited.
    3. Interest Expansion is disabled.
  5. Lookalike audiences are unavailable. 
  6. Custom Audience inclusion and exclusion are unavailable.
  7. Saved audiences (created on Facebook) are unavailable. 

Note that you can still use saved audiences, as well as interest and location clusters, created in Marin Social; however, they must comply with Facebook restrictions. 

If your targeting does not comply with these restrictions, your ad will not run and you will see a Refused status in Marin Social.

Important Notes 

If you are based in, or targeting, the USA:

  • All of your active campaigns need to include relevant special ad categories. You will need to update targeting to comply with audience restrictions as well, or these ads will no longer be allowed to run. 

If you are based outside the USA and targeting audiences outside the USA:

  • You can choose if you want to opt-in or opt-out of targeting restrictions. Regardless of whether the campaign offers housing, employment, or credit opportunities, you can select None in the Special Ad Category field. Targeting restrictions will then not apply.

Written by Marketing @ Marin Software

Last published at: June 8th, 2023