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Important changes to categorizing campaigns with ads in the Special Ad Category or ads about Social Issues, Elections, or Politics

June 24, 2020ByCharles Vidrine

Beginning today, two important features are available to the special_ad_categories field in Marketing API v7.0 and above. These changes continue Facebook’s efforts to increase ad transparency and election integrity on Facebook and Instagram. They also help simplify the process of managing Special Ad Categories on our platform.

  1. Ads about social issues, elections or politics must be categorized at the campaign level as a Special Ad Categories selection. Advertisers can do this by passing ISSUES_ELECTIONS_POLITICS in the field special_ad_categories in Marketing API v7.0 and above. Previously, these types of ads were categorized at the ad level. By moving this important classification upfront to the campaign level, it allows its effects to trickle down to the ad set and ad levels. With this change, advertisers will label all their ads in a campaign as about social issues, elections, or politics.

    In addition, if categorizing the campaign as social issues, elections or politics, advertisers must also specify the country that they want to run ads via the special_ad_category_country field.

    Targeting for ads about social issues, elections or politics are unaffected by this change.

  2. Campaigns can be categorized in multiple Special Ad Categories. Previously, advertisers could only select one Special Ad Category for their campaigns. Advertisers now have more flexibility and can select any combination of four Special Ad Categories for their campaigns (housing, employment, credit, and social issues, elections, or politics.)

Managing Discrepancies in Marketing API v6.0/v5.0

Because these new features are not available in Marketing API v6.0 and older, there will be a discrepancy for a small set of use cases for campaigns designated as social issues, elections, or politics. Specifically, if an advertiser uses Ads Manager to designate a campaign as social issues, elections, or politics, the advertiser will not be able to later remove the designation using Marketing API v6.0/v5.0. If the advertiser wishes to remove the social issues, elections, or politics designation, they can do so in Ads Manager or in Marketing API v7.0.

If your platform users fall into the above use case, we recommend developers migrate to Marketing API v7.0 as soon as possible and implement the new special_ad_categories fields. In the interim, developers still using Marketing API v6.0/5.0 should advise your platform advertisers who wish to remove the designation for social issues, elections, or politics to do so on Ads Manager only.