As they did during the 2020 Elections, Meta is freezing political advertising between Tuesday, November 1 through Election Day, November 8th. The stated purpose of this policy is to allow the company enough time to ensure political and issue advertising complies with requirements about verifications, disclaimers, and content.
Unfortunately for campaigners, it means a lack of flexibility during the most crucial week of an election. Here’s what you need to know about the restrictions and what you can do to prepare.
What It Means
Before the freeze begins at midnight on November 1, any ads that you wish to run between then and Election Day are required to have delivered impressions and have a valid disclaimer. That also means you must be authorized to run ads about politics.
Once the freeze is underway, advertisers may not edit any of their ads’ creatives, including text, images, videos or links. Additionally, they may not alter the targeting, placement, optimization, or objectives of their ads.
Ads may not be copied or duplicated and paying to boost new organic posts will be prohibited.
Advertisers will be able to edit bids, budgets, and schedules. They may also pause or unpause ads (if they’ve served impressions).
What Campaigns Should Do To Prepare
These restrictions mean a campaign must have a clear plan for which ads it wants to run. To allow additional flexibility within these limitations, a campaign should have ads and audiences on standby if needed.
Prioritize your “must-run” ads and get the creatives completed and through internal approvals immediately. You should submit them for approval via Facebook and have them running ASAP – you can pause them as soon as impressions are recorded.
The standby ads should follow and also get trial impressions.
Communicating the ad freeze period internally is critical so your team knows what can and cannot be done – and prepare accordingly. For example, if you are having GOTV rallies and want to boost turnout with paid ads, they’ll need to be live before November 1.
Your GOTV ad creatives should be generic and without references to days or times for maximum flexibility.
While you won’t be able to edit your creatives or targeting, you will be able to make changes to your landing pages (as long as the URL remains the same) so you can provide updates there. For example, have a general set of ad creatives related to endorsements and if there are relevant, late-breaking endorsements, update your landing page.
Remember that audiences are also part of the freeze period, so have your audiences uploaded and assigned to ads before November 1. Have broad audiences, like persuasion and GOTV, as well as more narrow audiences limited to counties or certain demographics.
Research shows that 60% of voters log into Facebook every day, so even though the policies are frustrating and limit your options, campaigns cannot afford to walk away from Facebook. The biggest mistake you could make is not preparing accordingly, so familiarize yourself with the rules and plan ahead of time.