Facebook has recently announced that it will lift the ban on ads that promote cloth masks and non-medical face coverings.
The company initially banned ads of all types of face masks including medical masks in March because of the shortage of medical supplies for front line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ban was also imposed to prevent scams and misleading marketing as Facebook could not review every single ad that promoted face masks.
As the coronavirus got stronger in the US, the demand for cleaning products and protective gear dramatically increased, creating a challenge for e-commerce to take action against exploitative behavior.
Earlier in April, the US Centers for Disease Control reformed its face mask guidelines and has urged people to wear masks in places where social distancing is hard. So it makes sense that Facebook is lifting the ban so people can easily find and purchase cloth masks.
“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,” Facebook’s director of project management Rob Leathern said in a blog post.
Facebook still has some restrictions intact. It is mandatory for brands or independent sellers to have at least a four-month history of running ads on Facebook to be allowed to advertise masks. It is also restricting the advertisement of ads with medical claims or labeled with health or coronavirus related wording. So this means that the products that will be allowed to be advertised are handmade cloth masks and face coverings designed with fabrics or reusable material.