On June 10, Facebook announced that they are relaxing the restrictions around ads selling face mask, which is a rule that the company instituted in March.

Originally, the rule came to be when COVID-19 was spreading, and a shortage of masks was imminent. Facebook made the decision to ban any ads selling masks in order to prevent price gouging, hoarding, as well as the spread of misinformation.

Now that states are beginning to re-open, rules and guidelines are being put in place regarding being in public. One guideline is to wear face masks, so that it helps prevent the continued spread of the virus, with non-medical ones are being acceptable.

This has driven the demand among consumers looking to buy reusable mask online.

Facebook has specified the ban on ads is being lifted for non-medical masks. The following list is how they define non-medical masks:

  • non-medical grade
  • masks not promoted with medical or health claims
  • handmade or fabric masks
  • reusable masks
  • refashioned materials (notably things from clothing retailers who have started producing, like neoprene, etc)

According to Facebook, this ban lift isn’t going to apply to every advertiser who wants to start selling masks. Requirements have been outlined around advertisers who are allowed to run ads.

In order to stop unknown entities from stepping in and possibly scamming buyers, advertisers have to meet certain criteria.

First, they are required to be in good standing with Facebook Ads. This means that they can’t have any violations or disabled instances due to policy violation.

Also, advertisers need to have a minimum advertising history of at least four months, or be associated with a Business Manager that age. The four month requirement isn’t the date the account was created, but the date in which the advertising began.

There are some countries had some higher than normal policy violations for attempting to sell medical equipment during the ban. For advertisers that reside in that country and meet the criteria above, they will be permitted to run the mask-selling ads in their home country.

These countries include:

  • Cameroon
  • China
  • Indonesia
  • Israel
  • Kazakhstan
  • Malaysia
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • Vietnam

Facebook says that these restrictions aren’t permanent.

There are even rules around the content within the ad and the landing page that ads take a user to when they click on it.

Medical or health claims cannot be made, including mentions of disease prevention, protection of the respiratory system, or ability to filter out germs.

If the advertisers wants to mention the community benefits of wearing masks, both the ad and landing page can’t do so while tying the the above noted benefits.

The following example was given by Facebookon the difference in language for this rule:

“‘We’ve pivoted our business to making masks to help keep our community healthy’ would be allowed, but stating ‘We’re stopping the spread of COVID-19 by making masks’ would not be allowed.” – Facebook policy

Restrictions are still in place for hand sanitizers, surface wipes, Covid-19 test kits, medical grade face masks. Those items cannot be used as a free gift with purchases, either.

The full policy on this change can be found here.

SourceSusan Wenograd