Facebook is adding the same Special Ad Category field that came out for Ad Managers in July to its Marketing API next month. This update is designed for marketers and developers running housing, employment and credit ads, which limits the set of targeting options to keep marketers from running discriminatory ad campaigns.

“All developers that want to create ads must implement the Special Ad Category flows by December 4, 2019, or their ads may be paused for non-compliance,” Facebook wrote.

The Special Ad Category is going to be available in the Facebook Marketing API on September 16.

Facebook said that, unless all new campaigns comply with the Special Ads Category rule by December 4, the campaigns will be terminated.

The efforts being made by Facebook to end discriminatory advertising practices can impact any marketer who runs housing, employment or credit related ad campaigns. If an advertiser doesn’t select the Special Ads Category can have the rusk of their campaigns being terminated on Facebook.

If an advertisers are targeting users in the US with ads that aren’t related to housing, employment or credit products or services, they have to specify “NONE” in the Special Ads Category, “Or the campaign creation requests will fail,” said the company.

After the Special Category is selected, some detailed targeting options will no longer be available, such as demographics, behaviors or interests. “Special Ad Category” advertisers will also not be allowed to exclude any targeting options.

Facebook announced that it was removing age, gender and ZIP code targeting filters for housing, employment and credit ads in March. Facebook came to this decision as part of a settlement Facebook reached with multiple civil rights groups that charged the company with letting discriminatory ad campaigns to run. Facebook, at the time, said that it was going to roll out new tools to keep housing employment and credit advertisers from running ads that discriminated against users. Because of this, the Special Ad Category field was born.

The Marketing API has been updated to include changes to the ad campaign, ad set and ad level and targeting and audience settings.

The Special Ad Category updates to the Marketing API include changes to the ad campaign, ad set and ad level and targeting and audience settings. Developers are able to review the Marketing API documentation so they can prepare for the coming updates.

Beginning in 2020, advertisers and developers are going to be required to update campaigns that launched before December 4 in order to comply with the Special Ad Category requirements.

SourceAmy Gesenhues