Navigating Instagram Advertising Policies

Advertising
Instagram
April 1, 2020
Cannabis

Key Findings

Charlotte’s Web is able to run Facebook & Instagram ads by using both a separate Instagram account & website which do not mention CBD: Charlotte’s Web rather focuses on the keyword “hemp extract” to circumnavigate Facebook ad policies around CBD.

What Brands Should Be Thinking About

Implement best practices if you are interested in running ads on Facebook or Instagram: Remember, there are negative repercussions that can result from trying to advertise CBD related products on Facebook or Instagram. It is recommend to pursue advertisement after other organic tactics have been exhausted, such as community engagement, getting involved in popular hashtags, influencer partnerships, etc. 

In July, Charlotte’s Web allocated 7% ($35K) of their ad spend to Instagram.

July Ad Spend

Charlotte’s Web split their Instagram spend almost evenly on Stories & Posts

July Instagram Spend

Charlotte’s Web concentrated their video post spend on ads that were focused on both product & brand awareness.

Click to view, Click to view
trusttheearth.com

Charlotte’s Web did not run these ads from their main Instagram account, but rather another account called iamcharlottesweb.

iamcharlotteweb

This account has not posted since 2019 and looks to be only used to run ad campaigns.

iamcharlotteweb

The account links to icharlotte.com instead of charlottesweb.com & focuses on the keyword “hemp extract.”

Charlotteweb

Icharlotte.com has replaced the word “CBD” with “Hemp” to bypass Facebook’s ad restrictions.

icharlotte.com, charlotteweb.com

It appears that Charlotte’s Web is attempting to circumnavigate Facebook’s policies around CBD advertising by using separate Instagram account and tweaking the language on their advertised website to remain compliant.

Charlotte Task

The intent behind this strategy, aside from compliance with current ad policies, is to avoid any possible negative repercussions to their main account and website. Here are some best practices to follow if attempting the same strategy:

The intent behind the strategy

Things to Remember:

  • Ads for ingestible hemp products are not allowed
  • Ads for topical hemp products are allowed
  • Ads can link to landing pages that include topical CBD and ingestible hemp products, the ingestible products cannot be included in the ad or link to a landing page that is only focused on ingestible hemp.

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