Facebook opens door to cryptocurrency ads, reversing policy announced earlier this year

Facebook is now allowing ads promoting cryptocurrency and related products, reversing a decision it made in January to prohibit such ads.

Earlier this year, the site had banned ads for binary options, initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency – financial products it associated with “misleading or deceptive promotional practices.” As of today, Facebook has reversed its decision on cryptocurrency — but only for advertisers who have been pre-approved by the company. Ads for binary options and initial coin offerings are still banned.

“Advertisers wanting to run ads for cryptocurrency products and services must submit an application to help us assess their eligibility — including any licenses they have obtained, whether they are traded on a public stock exchange, and other relevant public background on their business,” writes Facebook’s product management director, Rob Leathern, on the Facebook business blog.

Leathern referenced Facebook’s earlier decision to ban ads for particular financial products and services, noting that the policy had been “intentionally broad” to give the company more time to determine how advertisers used misleading and deceptive advertising practices to promote financial products like binary options, initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency.

According to Leathern, Facebook has spent the last few months finding ways to refine the policy, while ensuring ads are safe — choosing to allow advertisers promoting cryptocurrency as long as they are vetted via Facebook’s application process.

Facebook is also leaving the door open to further policy changes: “We’ll listen to feedback, look at how well this policy works and continue to study this technology so that, if necessary, we can revise it over time.”

Since the Cambridge Analytica crisis, Facebook has been thoroughly reviewing its ad policies as well as refining its ad-targeting capabilities and limiting the amount of user data available to apps.

Last week, the site changed its weapon accessory ad policy, limiting ad targeting to users age 18 and older. It also updated its political and issue-based ad policies, requiring any advertisers paying for political or issue-based ads be verified on the platform.


About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is Third Door Media’s General Assignment Reporter, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs.com, SoftwareCEO.com, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.

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