Digital Marketing News

Facebook Applies Restrictions on Ad Targeting Following Discrimination Settlement

A March 2019 legal settlement between civil rights groups and Facebook has consequences that are coming to light. Advertisers, including auto dealers and anyone linking to credit or APR financing offers, will suffer major changes and restrictions to the way Facebook ad targeting is done.

The settlement resulted from accusations of unlawful discrimination against minorities, women, and the elderly. Specifically in the ad groups of credit, housing, and jobs. Those categories are where sweeping changes to ad creation are happening.

Some changes are already in place, while others won’t be mandatory until late August. All of the updates, though, are going to impact the way auto dealers market new and old inventory on Facebook in the future. 

As of today, Facebook says it has already done three things:

  1. Updated advertising policies to include non-discrimination resources from government agencies and civil rights groups.
  2. Required advertisers to review and certify compliance with those policies.
  3. Removed “thousands of categories available for targeting that relate to potentially sensitive personal attributes. Such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion.”
  4. Those categories removed from targeting are specific only to ads related to credit, housing, or employment. That means personal attributes won’t retire from the entire Facebook marketing platform.

The agencies in these industries that have a dedicated Facebook representative are now in contact about the upcoming changes.

It is vital for both auto dealers that work with an agency and those that do their own marketing is the information about what changes are still coming.

The new regulations will require anyone promoting job or credit opportunities for their dealership to self-identify that they are using a Special Ad Category — even if their offers are detailed only on the page to which their ad links.

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