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Marketing API Advertisers Must Comply with Special Ad Category by March 31

Discrimination has no place on Facebook, and our advertising policies have long prohibited unlawful discrimination. As a result of historic settlement agreements with leading civil rights organizations, we introduced a new process last year for how advertisers based in the U.S., or targeting audiences in the U.S., can create ads that offer housing, employment or credit opportunities.

Advertisers, developers and partners must specify whether or not their ads offer housing, employment or credit opportunities. They can do so by selecting a Special Ad Category and, once a category is selected in Ads Manager or via the Marketing API, a limited set of targeting options will be available.

Last October, we announced several deadlines for businesses using the Marketing API, and there are now two important deadlines approaching that businesses need to be aware of:

By February 11:

  • All businesses located in the U.S. or targeting audiences in the U.S. will be required to identify any active campaigns that belong to a Special Ad Category that were created before Dec. 4, 2019. They will also need to update the targeting settings for such campaigns, or these ads will no longer be allowed to run.

By March 31: This date marks a breaking change.

  • All businesses — located in the U.S. or targeting audiences in the U.S. — creating new ads offering housing, employment or credit opportunities must specify a Special Ad Category and update targeting settings to comply with restrictions for Special Ad Category campaigns, or these ads will no longer be allowed to run.
  • All businesses creating ads that do not offer housing, employment or credit opportunities must indicate “None” in the Special Ad Category field for all campaigns, or these ads will no longer be allowed to run.
  • All businesses creating ads that offer housing, employment or credit opportunities targeted outside of the U.S. can choose to select a Special Ad Category and proceed with the limited targeting options, or select “None.” If no designation is made, these ads will no longer be allowed to run.
Marketing API versionFeb. 11, 2020Mar. 31, 2020
v4.0All active ads offering housing, employment or credit opportunities that were created or edited before Dec. 4, 2019 must comply with guidelines. Marketing API v4.0 is deprecated. Developers must migrate to Marketing API v5.0 or newer, which requires that all ads be designated as falling under a Special Ad Category or not.
v5.0All active ads offering housing, employment or credit opportunities that were created or edited before Dec. 4, 2019 must comply with guidelines. No action needed.

For more information on adhering to this new process and important date, review our Marketing API documentation: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/marketing-api/audiences/special-ad-category.