It’s not a secret to anyone who is working in CBD or cannabis that stringent government regulations make it tricky to advertise these kinds of products. Facebook, Google, Bing, and many other major social media and search platforms prohibit cannabis advertising because they consider it as a recreational drug. As an agency, we were able to advertise CBD on Social Media and Search Engine platforms, and we’ll show you how in the later sections. Jump to explanation.
Disclaimer: Do take note that advertising on Google and FB without the right experience and knowledge can put your website or account at risk. We will not be liable for any loss or damages that you may incur as a result of following our advice here.
Below we will discuss the best practices in making compliant CBD ads on any platform.
The Best Practices For Making Compliant CBD Ads
Because of CBD’s continuous federal classification as a Schedule I drug, online advertising rules now are managed by state cannabis regulations, so they differ according to where you operate your business. It can become confusing if you’re planning on running online advertisements visible to consumers across different states.
As luck would have it, most cannabis bills are almost the same as those that have been approved successfully before them. Meaning, there are only a handful of widely applicable rules no matter where you’re going to display your CBD oil product ads. Generally speaking, cannabis advertisements encompass the same major provisions for ad copy, such as:
- No recommendations for wellness or medical benefits.
- No topics that could refer to kids (cartoons, comics, etc.)
- No false or deceptive claims, as well as those made about the products of the main competitors.
- No testimonials or endorsements.
- No product emissions.
- No raising prices, potency accusations, or special offers.
- Ads for infused items must claim “ For Adult Use Only.”
Our Top Trade Secret: 4 Basic Elements Of Compliant CBD Ads on Google and Facebook
On every platform, few regulations differ. Each network is much more challenging than others. But if you follow these four main contributing factors and do the right thing on each, you’re going to have an excellent, compliant advertisement campaign on these networks. In this video, one of our founders, Simon Jordan, shows us the top 4 elements of reliable and compliant CBD Ads.
1. Ad Copy
The copy of the ad is highly valuable. There are certain keywords that you are not allowed to include, such as “CBD,” because you need to adhere to the rules of each network. A mention of CBD or CBD-related keywords on your ad copy or anywhere across your whole ad campaign will cause your ads to be banned.
This includes what images you’re using and what you intend to convey. The creatives are not a big deal if it would just follow the regulations of every platform. Your creatives should also not contain CBD in it.
3. Landing Page
This is vital because it’s where most marketers fail to manage. Your landing page will redirect the audience to your website. In all likelihood, you won’t be able to run compliant advertising directly into your website because of having disallowed keywords.
Whether that’s a Facebook algorithm, Google algorithm, or Bing’s, they’re crawling the information on your website’s landing page, and they’re finding things that are not compliant. Those ads aren’t permitted to run, or maybe they can run for a bit but eventually get disabled.
Make sure you check the source code because FB or Google algorithms crawl the source code and if they find CBD or CBD related keywords your ad will be disapproved.
You can run an ad all of your CBD products for as long as everything else is in accordance. If the other elements are in place: your creative, ad copy, and landing page is compliant, the CBD products shown are not going to trigger the algorithm.
Aside from FB and Google, where else can I advertise Cannabis?
Nowadays, cannabis marketers can conveniently campaign across hundreds of popular websites through digital ads networks, and recently, through Snapchat.
CBD brands can use conventional ‘demand-side platforms’ like programmatic ad display networks to operate their ad campaigns and new cannabis-specific technologies built to fulfill the specific needs of the legal cannabis industry.
For most programmatic platforms, the approval process is simple. You can build the ads as per the platform requirements, submit them for approval, and get permission or demand for improvements. If your ads are approved, you will be free to set your campaign guidelines, just like this
- Who’s going to see the ads? Age 21 and above is a fair guess; you can also pick from a wide variety of behavioral data categories to reach the potential consumer of your company.
- Where are the ads going to run? Digital ads must be geo-targeted to your country. However, if your product lines are permissible around an international border, you can also target specific regions under the zip code.
Takeaway: Create a solid CBD Ads strategy
Since CBD brands are not allowed to run their ad campaigns through the current digital advertising mainstays of different platforms, most cannabis business owners give up on the idea altogether. Fortunately, there are effective practices that you can execute to make your cannabis ad campaigns compliant and run successfully on many different platforms.
If you are keen to know how you can bring your brand to the major ad platforms, or if you want to tap your audience on Bing, Youtube, Facebook, and Google, you should book a meeting with us today for a free Ads strategy session!
Go where your competition can’t and be where your customers are. You’ll be surprised to know that they are hungry to learn about your brand and your product more than you think they are!