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Facebook reverses course after first offering absurd reason to reject CPC ad

by | Oct 28, 2016

By Dave Andrusko

birthrightbelairad3reOk, I grant you there is no necessary linkage. But…

(1) Facebook’s cofounder has pledged to give $20 million “to political groups that support Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton,” according to the Washington Post.

(2) That, as of May, “Facebook employees as individuals have donated more than $114,000 to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton this election cycle, by far the most of any presidential candidate,” the Hill newspaper reported.

(3) Facebook turned down an ad from a Crisis Pregnancy Center for reasons that no one over the age of 6 would believe are genuine.

Here’s the backdrop to a story reported by WBFF, Fox News 45 Baltimore.

Seems Birthright of Bel Air, a Harford County pregnancy aid center, wanted to do what many organizations routinely do : pay Facebook so its advertisement would reach a wider online audience.

But the word– the word which was delivered within 5 minutes of the request’s submission–was no.

What could possibly be offensive about an ad, which depicts a sonogram image of a baby superimposed on the stomach of a pregnant woman, under the caption, “Every life is a miracle. If you are pregnant and need help Birthright is here for you”?

That’s what the group’s outreach coordinator, identified only as Atha, wondered as well. “It was really rather odd since everything in the ad seemed very positive and encouraging,” she told Fox News.

According to WBFF

After Atha appealed Facebook’s decision, she found out it was the phrase ‘If you are pregnant’ that caused the social media giant to reject the message.

“They paralleled it to ‘if you are fat’ or ‘if you are overweight’,” said Atha, who was told by a company representative that Facebook doesn’t allow ads that call out to specific user attributes, such as race, religion or age, since it could be offensive.

Atha re-worded the advertisement which now says “Every life is precious. Pregnant women and their families can find hope and unconditional support at Birthright.”

It was approved, said Atha, but after twelve hours instead of minutes like her previous blurbs.

“It makes no sense,” said Atha. “It definitely makes me wonder what’s going on behind the scenes of Facebook a little bit.”

Guess what? “E-mails to Facebook for clarification on the difference between Birthright of Bel Air’s two advertisements were not returned to FOX45.”

So why did Facebook change its tune? Atha’s friends share the new ad on their personal pages–maybe that had an influence, she suggested. ( Or perhaps Facebook got wind a story might be coming out about its absurd decision.)

The FOX45 story ends on this encouraging note:

Her message to other businesses trying to advertise online is to remain vigilant.

“There’s power in people,” said Atha. “I think people sharing and saying ‘hey this isn’t right’ I think that had to be noticed by Facebook in some regard.”

Categories: Social Media