Facebook will partially lift the advertising ban on face masks. Thus, third-party businesses will have the possibility to advertise cloth masks. Also, they could promote other non-medical face coverings, such as bandanas.
Face masks shortage determined the ban
Facebook decided to institute the ban on the ads for all types of face masks, in March. The decision applies also on ads for all forms of medical and respiratory masks were banned.
The decision came as the company instituted the ban in March, due to shortages. Also, there was a concern that medical staff and other workers in the frontline would not have enough protection equipment.
At the same time, lots of scams with medical masks appeared in March, as users become concerned about protection during the Coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. So, Facebook decided to protect its users against scams and misleading ads. At that time, the company admitted it could not examine each ad promoting face masks.
Huge companies banned face masks delivery
After the coronavirus pandemic burst, a surge in demand also occurred. So, some merchants discovered an opportunity to make more money. Also, scammers tried to take advantage of people’s panic.
It was the moment when they started making false health claims. On the other hand, some legitimate online stores failed to deliver the goods. It was also the case of Amazon, Facebook and Google who decided to take action in order to stop exploitative behavior.
Sill, the ban is in place for medical and respiratory masks like 3M N95 masks. Two days ago, 3M sued an Amazon Marketplace seller for selling fake N95 masks at inflated prices.
This happens especially after the US Center for Disease Control advised people to wear masks outdoors and in places where social distancing is difficult, such as stores.
“Many health authorities now advise wearing non-medical masks — and in some places masks are required for activities like taking public transportation or visiting a store — and we’ve seen people and businesses of all sizes working to fill this need,” Rob Leathern, Facebook’s director of product management, mentioned in a blog post.
Strict rules for the ads
Still, there are some restrictions Facebook is imposing. In order to obtain the approval to market this kind of medical protective equipment, companies need at least a four-month history of advertising on Facebook.
Also, Facebook will maintain the ban for sellers in the countries “where we have seen high percentages of policy-violating ads promoting medical supplies during the temporary ban.” Leathern explained that in those countries, the online sellers could only market non-medical masks.
The ban will still be in place on any ads that use health or COVID-19-related wording. So, basically, sellers can advertise handmade cloth masks and other types of coverings made out of fabrics. Anyway, the company also announced it would limit the number of ads run by a page at any time.