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Facebook’s Slideshow ads contradict its own ad image policy

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Only yesterday we brought you news of a new facet of Facebook’s advertising might, called Slideshow. This new format focuses on bringing video ads to places and people that don’t have the internet connections or handsets to watch online vids.

In their place, static images are cycled through – creating a slideshow and providing more lively advertising in the place of bandwidth-heavy videos. It’s a way for Facebook to sell premium ads to customers in low income economies, essentially.

However, here’s something odd. All advertising on Facebook is subject to its advertising policies for suitability. . Concerning images, there is a strict rule regarding images: “Ads must not include added or excessive text that comprises more than 20% of the image.”

In the portion of the policies regarding this, clear distinction is made between what is and what is not an acceptable add:


Now for the interesting bit: since Slideshow is, by nature, comprised of images, it should follow the same rules (or those rules should change).

Apparently not, as Facebook has released a video showing off a Slideshow ad for Coca-Cola and Coke Studio. The seven images that comprise the Slideshow can be found below:

To make sure that we were calculating percentages correctly, we ran each of the seven images above through Facebook’s own Grid Tool. This tool overlays a grid that can be market, and it will then calculate the percentage which is occupied by text:

Slide 1: 100%

Slide 2: 52%

Slide 3: 48%

Slide 4: 36%

Slide 5: 36%

Slide 6: 48%

Slide 7: 100%

Clearly, not a single image falls within the policies created by Facebook themselves, and slides 6 and 7 are classified as 100% text because logos and slogans count as such.

These errors can be attributed to many things: Facebook’s policies may have not been updated to include Slideshow, Facebook may not view Slideshow content as images (even though they are), or the Coca-Cola add in itself is incorrect and created without knowledge of the 20% policy.

With Slideshow being available in certain areas from yesterday, with expansion in the following months, we will need to see if more erroneous ads appear. Remember, if an ad that breaks Facebook’s policies appears on your feed, you can report it using this this guide.


Clinton Matos

Clinton Matos

Clinton has been a programmer, engineering student, project manager, asset controller and even a farrier. Now he handles the maker side of htxt.africa.