Facebook drops age, other prohibitions on promotions

Facebook has dropped previous restrictions on promotions involving tobacco, dairy, gambling, firearms, prescription drugs and gasoline, according to a post on the social networking site Tuesday.

The updated rules also allow marketers to require a purchase for entry, and open up offers to people under 18 or in certain countries, such as Sweden or India, where sweepstakes were banned previously, Media Post reported.

According to Facebook, all applicable laws and regulations apply in jurisdictions where contests or sweepstakes are held. This means marketers and brands need to ensure that their promotions on the social site don’t violate any local, state or other laws.

This is part of Facebook’s efforts to make the guidelines easier to understand and consistent with the format of other terms and policies, according to the company. However, it also obviously creates potential new opportunities to companies whose “sin products” may have restricted their promotions on the site, Media Post pointed out.

“The change could lead big brands in the now-unrestricted industries to step up their marketing efforts on Facebook, drawing spend away from more traditional marketing mediums such as TV and print. It will also allow all marketers more flexibility in promotion targeting and rules,” according to Inside Facebook.

However, this guideline change has led to some confusion about what’s compliant with the policy.
“This simplification of the guidelines should make things more clear to some, but it could also be misinterpreted to mean these types of promotions are legal when they violate local laws,” according to Inside Facebook.

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