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[Update] How HEC Ads Are Changing in Facebook Ads Manager

[Update June 2019] How HEC Ads Are Changing in Facebook Ads Manager

View Housing Ad Changes
View Employment Ad Changes
View Credit Ad Changes
View HEC Ad Targeting Changes
View Updated Timeline for HEC Ad Changes

In Q3 of 2019 Facebook is making drastic changes to Facebook Ads Manager’s targeting options for ads serving the housing, employment, and credit industries (HEC ads). These changes are due to several lawsuits Facebook settled in Q1 of 2019 where several organizations brought forward examples of discrimination in Facebook’s targeting options within the HEC ad categories. Here’s what marketing agencies and companies need to know about the upcoming changes.

What’s changing within the targeting options for HEC ads on Facebook?


Infinity Marketing was updated in June of 2019 by Facebook on the specific changes within each HEC category. Those changes are listed below.

Here’s the specific triggers for Housing, Employment, and Credit in the HEC ad categories. Your ads will be limited by targeting options if your ad includes any of the following:

Housing Ads in Facebook

  • Rental or sale listing (houses, apartments, condos, open houses, land, business or commercial real estate)
  • Temporary housing
  • Real estate and house hunting services (realtor and self-service)
  • Housing and rental insurance offers
  • Comparison or aggregators of housing or rental insurance offers


Employment Ads in Facebook 

  • Job listing or offer (paid full time employment, contract employment, internship, apprenticeship, paid training programs)
  • Job board, aggregation services, job fairs
  • Training course, program or seminar to gain a personal certification or degree
  • Promotion of specific company perks


Credit Ads in Facebook 

  • Any long term loan with greater than 90 days repayment (financing of housing purchases – mortgages*, business or personal loans, student loans, product financing – auto, appliance, cell phone)
  • Promotion of credit card offers( includes ads that promote companies where the core business card is an offer and includes private label credit cards)
  • Credit card or loan comparison services or aggregators


Full Explanation of Limited Targeting Options in HEC Ads

  • Removed ability to target by age, gender and ZIP code
  • Substantially reduce available Interest targeting options (for inclusion). Any detailed targeting option describing or appearing to relate to protected classes will also be unavailable.
  • Remove the ability to exclude Interests from targeting
  • Update location targeting (require a minimum 15-mile radius for city/town targeting or require a minimum 15-mile radius for pin drops)
  • Important – Ad managers will no longer have access to lookalike audiences if you’re creating an ad that falls into one of the HEC ad categories.
    • Instead ad managers will be able to create a Special Ad Audience, which doesn’t consider gender, age, ZIP codes, or other similar categories.

What this means for advertisers is these basic targeting options within Facebook Ads Manager will not be available for HEC ads. In the image below, everything in red will be unavailable. Also remember that while these basic options are going away, so is “multicultural affinity targeting,” which has yet to be clearly defined by Facebook.

Facebook HEC Targeting | Infinity Marketing

Facebook HEC Targeting | Infinity Marketing

When will the changes in HEC ads impact my company or agency?

The timeline for implementation for these changes had been fluid and is subject to change, but here’s what we as of June 2019:

July — API Documentation will be available

August — 100% availability of new flow in Ads Manager, enforcement for all new and edited ads created via Ads Manager.

October — 100% availability of all surfaces, enforcement for all new and edited ads created via any surface. Facebook defines a surface as any tool managing a Facebook ad that is not created or managed within the Facebook Ads Manager.

End of Year —Rollout of new functionality for Housing ads in Ad Library. This will be a new view for users to scroll through any housing ad running on Facebook or Instagram.

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