Advertising hemp online and specifically advertising hemp products on Facebook & Google may now be possible! Several online sources, as well as spokespeople from both Facebook & Google, have commented on new recent changes to CBD advertising restrictions on each platform.
Is Advertising Hemp on Facebook & Google Allowed?
It seems that Facebook & Google may be loosening their grip on restrictions with CBD advertising and advertising hemp online on each platform and this CBD advertising agency is super excited about this and you should be too!
You may recall that even though Facebook’s Advertising Restrictions don’t mention CBD or ingestible hemp, a spokesperson for the company confirmed to The Verge that when it comes to advertising hemp on Facebook, users are not allowed to post ads mentioning CBD or ingestible hemp.
The only place any of this remotely shows up in Facebook’s policies is a prohibition against “illegal products or services,” “drugs & drug-related products,” and “unsafe supplements,” the last of which is “as determined by Facebook in its sole discretion.”
For Facebook, that “sole discretion” means that CBD is treated the same as any other marijuana derivative – which is a super bizarre policy for anyone familiar with the CBD or the hemp plant.
If you’re like anyone on our CBD advertising team, you’ve likely been super frustrated with trying to advertising hemp or CBD online anywhere across Facebook because there really is no public mention of not being able to advertise CBD or hemp on Facebook.
But now it seems that Facebook may be relaxing its silly ban on advertising CBD and hemp products. Apparently, you can advertise hemp on Facebook and run ads for topical hemp.
In this article, we’ll look into this further and show you how your CBD company may be able to run hemp ads on Facebook and promote your topical hemp products to the world’s largest and engaged audiences.
What’s The Deal With Advertising Hemp Products on Facebook?
As I mentioned in a recent article for MorningConsult.com, a global technology company revolutionizing ways to collect, organize, and share survey research data, advertising hemp online is still an all grey area.
Advertising hemp products on Facebook may be getting “easier”, but it’s still not as simple as advertising t-shirts or skin cream.
However, things may be changing, and quickly thank goodness.
Digiday has reported that an anonymous agency source with knowledge on this matter says that hemp advertisers are allowed to run ads for topical hemp across Facebook, which Includes Instagram and FB Messenger.
Apparently, hemp advertisers can run ads that direct to landing pages that feature ingestible hemp and topical CBD. But, there’s a “but”, of course.
Here’s the thing, which is really no big deal if you hire an experienced, creative, and tenacious CBD marketing agency to advertise your hemp products, the ads cannot specifically feature your products.
And…Facebook is still prohibiting ads for ingestible CBD, including ads that direct to landing pages with these types of products.
According to Digiday, a Facebook spokesperson said via email: “Our policy remains the same: We don’t allow people to promote CBD or ingestible hemp on Facebook. The update to non-ingestible hemp was made months ago”.
If this is for real, we’ve been able to legally advertise hemp products on Facebook for months?
I’m not so sure about that, but then again, I actually believe it. Because, I’ve seen advertising for CBD and hemp products on Facebook & Instagram in the past, as I’m sure you have as well.
Having said that, Facebook’s apparent policy change doesn’t mean every CBD/Hemp ad that meets these new guidelines will be approved.
Unfortunately, nothing is ever guaranteed when trying to advertise a legal, non-scheduled product!
It’s important to understand that Facebook consistently makes mistakes with flagging ads, and the ads still must abide by Facebook’s other advertising policies and community standards.
What’s The Deal With Advertising Hemp Products on Google?
The potential good news regarding advertising hemp products online on Facebook also extends to Google search and display advertising.
According to a recent article, “Google is taking steps toward ending its prohibition on advertising for cannabidiol products through a trial program that allows select companies in the budding hemp sub-industry to purchase ads on its platform, according to one CBD retailer that was asked to participate.”
MorningConsult.com spoke with lucky CBD business owner Shedrack Anderson, co-founder of the CBD-infused skincare line Chilyo LP, who said that “Google approached him to be part of a “trial realm” of companies that could purchase advertising on the site through its Google Ads portal”.
I love that Google is being proactive about advertising hemp products online on its search, and hopefully, display advertising platforms.
If you didn’t know, Google’s Display Network has the ability to reach 90% of Internet users worldwide and includes more than 2 million publisher sites.
If this test goes well, which I’m certain it will, this can potentially be a super insanely lucrative step for hemp companies who are looking to advertise hemp products on Google, to a massive, intent-driven and purchase oriented market.
So what about advertising CBD derived hemp products on Google? Not much has changed there in that Google still prohibits companies using its platforms to sell products containing CBD.
Unlike Facebook, in Google’s case, they do in fact list cannabidiol under its unapproved pharmaceuticals and supplements for its ad platform.
Also unlike Facebook, a Google spokesperson reiterated to MorningConsult.com that “CBD ads are prohibited on its platform, and denied the existence of a trial program”.
When it comes to advertising hemp products online on Google, things still seem a little grey and murky don’t they? Let’s look at these facts:
- Google is running a trial program that a spokesperson denies, and CBD business owners are currently running ads on Google search and YouTube, and Google is monitoring metrics on these CBD businesses websites.
So can you advertise your hemp products on Google or not? Here’s where it gets sort of similar to advertising hemp on Facebook.
It seems that Google is allowing its “CBD test businesses” to advertise hemp on Google search and on Youtube, with the following restrictions:
- Advertisements for CBD can’t use the word “CBD”.
- Test business owners who are in the program said that Google has encouraged them to use phrasing such as “full-spectrum hemp” and only to promote all-topical products only.
Sounds like Google and Facebook are easing up on advertising CBD, as long as you don’t mention CBD, or show your CBD products in your ad creative and copy, right?
They also seem fine with us using the words ‘hemp’ and “full spectrum hemp” over terms like “CBD”, “CBD oil”, and “full spectrum CBD”.
How To Advertise Hemp Products Online Without Using Facebook or Google
While it may be getting easier, and more possible, to advertise CBD and hemp products on Google & Facebook, you can see that there are still a few restrictions and it’s still not as super clear and super easy as it is to advertise other CPG products on these platforms.
The good news is that there are other ways to market, promote, and sell hemp-derived CBD products online, in the USA, Canada, UK, and other countries, and not have to deal with any advertising restrictions and cloudy/grey rules.
If your hemp business is focused on targeting the bottom of your conversion funnel – meaning, hitting hyper-targeted people who are ready to buy hemp-derived CBD products online – there are 2, third-party native and display advertising networks that allow for cannabis and CBD ads.
- The Mantis Ad Network bills itself as the most advanced digital marketing platform of its kind. Built for display, native, and video.
- The Outbrain Ad Network offers native advertising – otherwise known as “Sponsored Content” on some of the world’s most popular websites.
These 3rd party ad platforms may not be as large as the Google Display Network and the Facebook Audience Network, but they do allow for cannabis and CBD advertising and have fewer ad restrictions than Google or Facebook.
To learn more about our managed services for ad management on these platforms please go here.
If you’d like to discuss these platforms further and request a quote, please contact us now.
If your business is not ready for advertising just yet, and are focused on educating your potential customers, growing your brand, building your website authority, relevance, and trust, we have CBD marketing solutions that fit these goals to target the top of your conversion funnel.
You should also be active with daily content and community engagement on Instagram & Facebook, depending on your target demographics.
Implementing an organic social media management strategy may not lead to sales right away but it’s absolutely required for any hemp company to create awareness and build brand loyalty.
We Can Help You Advertise Your Hemp Products!
If you’re ready to take your hemp or CBD business to the next level, or have just launched your website and e-store, we can help you advertise your hemp products online on Facebook and Google.
As we discussed above, these 2 behemoths in digital advertising seem to be loosening restrictions with marketing CBD and/or advertising hemp online.
Please feel free to reach out for a free 30-minute phone consult or to request a quote. Contact us now.
We’re Ready To Help You Grow!