Boosting Your Brand's Reach with TikTok Influencer Marketing

TikTok Advertising Policies are divided into two sections:

Ad Creatives

This section sets out the types of advertising content that is prohibited or restricted on TikTok. For example, ads that promote illegal or harmful products or services, or that contain misleading or deceptive content, are not allowed.

Advertisers should also take a look at the Intellectual Property Infringement Rules for Ads, which outline the requirements for using copyrighted or trademarked material in ads.

Industry Entry

This section provides information about the types of products and services that can be advertised through TikTok Ads. For example, some industries, such as gambling and tobacco, are not allowed to advertise on TikTok in certain regions.

Advertisers should carefully review the policies for their desired target region to ensure that their products or services are eligible for advertising on TikTok.

These policies serve as a guideline for advertisers to determine whether their ads are eligible for placement on TikTok.

By following these policies, advertisers can help to ensure that their ads are seen by the right audience and that they do not violate any of TikTok's terms of service.

Understanding TikTok’s Ad Policies and Community Guidelines

TikTok, the social media phenomenon, has transformed the advertising landscape with its unique video-centric platform. As businesses seek new ways to reach a vast audience and engage potential customers, TikTok ads have emerged as a powerful tool.

To make the most of this platform, advertisers must follow specific guidelines and best practices to ensure ad consistency, functionality, language targeting, and ad quality.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the ins and outs of TikTok advertising, presenting you with a pathway to success while keeping your campaigns unique and original.

Ad Format and Functionality

1.1 Landing Page Requirements

The key to a successful TikTok ad campaign is leading users to functional and relevant landing pages.

To ensure a positive user experience and compliance with TikTok's guidelines, adhere to the following requirements:

  • Prohibited Landing Pages: Avoid directing users to expired, erroneous, or under-construction pages. Refrain from linking to landing pages with incomplete content or non-mobile-friendly designs. Never lead users to landing pages that automatically download files or require unnecessary personal information.
  • Allowed Landing Pages: Ensure that the landing pages are fully functional and provide value to users. Test the landing page to ensure it works correctly in the targeted country or territory.
  • E-commerce Landing Pages: Display complete and accurate information as required by local laws, including contact details, company information, business license, pricing in local currency, terms & conditions, shipping information, and clear privacy, returns, and refund policies.
  • Privacy Policy for Lead Ads: Include a Privacy Policy link in lead ads and follow data collection policies. The Privacy Policy must comply with applicable data protection regulations and be displayed accurately.
  • QR Codes in Ads: Avoid using QR codes that lead to third-party websites or social media pages (specific to Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and EMEA).QR codes can be used on product packaging or applications.

1.2 Ad Consistency

To build trust and credibility with users, maintaining ad consistency is crucial. Ensure that your ad creative, including captions, text, images, videos, and CTA, aligns with the promoted product or service on the landing page.

Follow these dos and don'ts to achieve ad consistency:

  • Not Allowed: Avoid displaying different products or brands in the ad creative and landing page. Refrain from showing a brand logo in the ad that is not present on the landing page.
  • Allowed: Promote the same product or brand in the ad creative and on the landing page.
  • Consistency in Ad Captions: Make sure the ad caption matches the content of the corresponding ad image or video.
  • Display Name & App Name Consistency: Ensure that the "Display Name" and "App Name" align with the promoted product, service, or app name on the landing page.

1.3 Ad Language & Targeting

To effectively connect with your target audience, consider their language and cultural preferences. 

TikTok has specific language requirements for different regions. Here's a summary of the acceptable languages for various target markets:

  • North America (NA): English and French for Canada. English and Spanish (with SP targeting) for the United States.
  • Latin America (LATAM) :Spanish for Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru.
  • Portuguese for Brazil.
  • Asia Pacific (APAC): Japanese for Japan. Korean and English for Korea. Traditional Chinese and English for Taiwan. Khmer and English for Cambodia. Indonesian for Indonesia. Bahasa Melayu and English for Malaysia and Singapore. Filipino (Tagalog) and English for the Philippines. Thai and English for Thailand. Vietnamese for Vietnam.
  • Oceania: English for Australia and New Zealand. Māori Language for New Zealand.
  • Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA):Different acceptable languages for various countries in Europe, United Kingdom, Israel, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey.

1.4 Ad Quality & Editorial Standards

To captivate your audience and leave a lasting impression, adhere to TikTok's ad quality and editorial guidelines:

  • Caption/Text: Ensure there are no spelling or grammatical mistakes in the ad caption or text. Avoid excessive use of symbols, capitalization, spacing, numbers, or punctuation.
  • Image and Video: Use high-resolution, clear, and legible ad images and videos. Stick to the standard video sizes: Vertical (9:16), Square (1:1), Horizontal (16:9). Keep ad videos between 5 to 60 seconds in duration. Avoid using still/static images as the main element in ad creatives.
  • Audio: Include clear and high-quality audio in your ads, avoiding unclear or muffled sounds.

Community Standards and Illegal Activity

TikTok demands strict adherence to its Terms of Service and Community Guidelines.

Advertisers must refrain from promoting any services or activities that are deemed illegal in their respective jurisdictions.

  • Drugs, Weapons, and Tobacco: TikTok prohibits the display or promotion of illegal drugs, controlled substances, drug paraphernalia, weapons, ammunition, explosives, and tobacco-related products.
  • Political and Issue-Based Advertising: Ads that reference or promote political candidates, parties, or controversial issues are strictly prohibited.
  • Military Content and Discriminatory Behavior: Negative depictions of the military, police, or any discriminatory content are not allowed on TikTok.
  • Adult and Sexual Content: Ads must avoid promoting adult products, sexual activities, nudity, or sexually suggestive content.
  • Intellectual Property Infringement: Using TikTok-related elements without permission or infringing on third-party rights is not permitted.
  • Misleading Claims and Inconsistent Information: Ads must avoid making exaggerated, misleading, or inconsistent claims about products or services.
  • Misleading, Inauthentic, and Deceptive Behaviors: Engaging in deceptive or inauthentic behaviors is strictly prohibited to protect the platform's integrity and safety.
  • Sensational and Shocking Content: TikTok does not allow ads containing violent or shocking imagery, animal cruelty, or offensive content.
  • Inappropriate or Unsuitable Content: Ads must steer clear of inappropriate or offensive content, including derogatory or disrespectful language.
  • Excessive Purchasing: Promoting excessive purchasing through credit cards or delayed payment services is not allowed.
  • Data Collection and Lead Generation: Advertisers must handle personal data securely and comply with local laws regarding data collection. Certain types of information, such as racial or health-related data, are strictly prohibited from being collected without TikTok's consent.
  • Misinformation: TikTok prohibits the spread of dangerous misinformation, medical falsehoods, fake news, and conspiracy theories.

Restricted Content

Additionally, some markets may have restrictions placed on ad creatives & landing page featuring certain materials or scenarios as listed below.

  • Alcohol Advertising: Avoid displaying excessive or irresponsible drinking behaviors in your ad creatives and landing pages. In some regions, refrain from promoting alcohol brand names, bar scenes, or scenes of drinking in real life. In Europe and Israel, alcohol brands and alcoholic drinks (including alcohol-free) must not be promoted in creatives or on landing pages.
  • In these regions, alcohol promotion must be responsible and must not encourage excessive or immoderate drinking or portray people acting drunk.
  • Gambling and Lotteries: Do not display, facilitate, or promote online gambling with real money or simulated gambling that involves the depositing and withdrawal of money. The same applies to lotteries in certain ad-targeting regions.
  • Religion and Culture: Respect religious buildings, symbols, and avoid malicious comparisons between religions. Additionally, respect the local culture of the ad-targeting regions.
  • Protection of Minors: Do not display inappropriate behaviors involving minors, underage drinking, smoking, or harmful activities. Minimize skin exposure of minors and avoid targeting minors with unsuitable products or services.
  • Weight Control/Management: In specific regions, ads must not feature anyone under 18 years of age, and claims about weight management products should be responsible and avoid exaggerated promises.
  • Body Image: TikTok promotes a body-positive and inclusive environment. Avoid promoting negative or unhealthy body images, exploiting insecurities, or promoting an unhealthy relationship with food or exercise.
  • HFSS Food and Drink: In Europe and Israel, ads promoting HFSS food and drink should not encourage unhealthy eating habits or target children aged 13-16.

Ensuring Compliance With Content and Advertising Restrictions

TikTok's vibrant and engaging platform offers tremendous potential for businesses to reach their target audience.

However, to maintain a safe and respectful environment, TikTok enforces strict advertising policies.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the prohibited and restricted products and services on TikTok ads, empowering you to create compliant and successful marketing campaigns. Let's dive in!

Prohibited Products or Services:

Animals, Animal Parts, or Products:

  • Prohibited: Promotion, sale, or facilitation of access to live animals, livestock, pets, carcasses, and endangered, vulnerable, or threatened species.
  • Allowed: Products for animals, pet services, and animal adoption by NGOs, NPOs, and animal shelters with certain restrictions.

Adult Sexual Products, Services, and Entertainment:

  • Prohibited: Advertising of pornographic material, sex toys, adult entertainment, sexual services, dating apps encouraging transactional relationships, and products for sexual enhancement.

Casinos and Gambling Games:

  • Prohibited: Promotion, sale, or facilitation of access to casinos, sports betting, fantasy sports, lotteries, and any related content, including tools and accessories.

Cigarettes and Tobacco Products:

  • Prohibited: Advertising of cigarettes, cigars, tobacco, e-cigarettes, and smoking paraphernalia or facilities.

Counterfeiting and Piracy:

  • Prohibited: Promotion, sale, or facilitation of access to counterfeit products or pirated digital products without authorization.

Drugs and Paraphernalia:

  • Prohibited: Advertising of illegal drugs, controlled drugs, prescription drugs (prohibited in some regions), and drug paraphernalia.

Police/Military Gear and Equipment:

  • Prohibited: Promotion, sale, or facilitation of access to police or military uniforms and accessories.

Political and Issue-Based Advertising:

  • Prohibited: Advertising related to candidates, political parties, government officials, and royal family members with official capacities.

Unacceptable Business Practices:

  • Prohibited: Promotion of unlawful activities, identity theft, document falsification, unwarranted claims, and deceptive practices.

Unsuitable Businesses, Products, or Services:

  • Prohibited: Advertising of abortion services, funeral services, hazardous chemical products, human organ/tissue trading, modeling/influencer recruitment, and pre-natal sex determination. Also, ads referring to sensitive events with inappropriate content are not allowed.

Weaponry and Weapon Parts:

  • Prohibited: Promotion, sale, or facilitation of access to weapons and self-defense items.

Restricted Products or Services

Certain products or services may be allowed at TikTok's discretion, provided they meet all applicable laws and regulations. Advertisers must ensure compliance and obtain necessary licenses.

  • North America - United States / US, Canada / CA
  • Latin America - Argentina / AR, Brazil / BR, Chile / CL, Colombia / CO, Ecuador / EC, Mexico / MX, Peru / PE, Uruguay / UY
  • Europe, United Kingdom, and Israel - Austria / AT, Belgium / BE, Bulgaria / BG, Czech Republic / CZ, Denmark / DK, Finland / FI, France / FR, Germany / DE, Greece / GR, Hungary / HU, Ireland / IE, Israel / IL, Italy / IT, Luxembourg / LU, Netherlands / NL, Norway / NO, Poland / PL, Portugal / PT, Romania / RO, Spain / ES, Sweden / SE, Switzerland / CH
  • Eastern Europe - Belarus / BY, Kazakhstan / KZ, Russia / RU, Ukraine / UA
  • Middle East, Turkey, Africa, and Pakistan - Bahrain / BH, Egypt / EG, Iraq / IQ, Jordan / JO, Kuwait / KW, Lebanon / LB, Morocco / MA, Oman / OM, Pakistan / PK, Qatar / QA, Saudi Arabia / SA, South Africa / ZA, Turkey / TR, United Arab Emirates / UAE
  • North East Asia - Japan / JP, Korean / KR, Taiwan / TW
  • South East Asia - Cambodia / KH, Indonesia / ID, Malaysia / MY, Philippines / PH, Singapore / SG, Thailand / TH, Vietnam / VN
  • Oceania - Australia / AU, New Zealand / NZ

Clear Disclosure of Sponsored Content

Transparency is vital when it comes to sponsored content on TikTok. Influencers and brands must clearly disclose their partnership to maintain trust with their audience.

Disclosures can be done through prominent captions, hashtags, or voiceovers that explicitly state the content is sponsored.

Transparent disclosure ensures that users understand the nature of the content they are consuming and helps prevent any perception of deception.

Providing Honest Product Information

When promoting products or services on TikTok, brands must provide honest and accurate information. Exaggerated claims or misleading statements can erode trust and harm the brand's reputation.

By being transparent about product features, limitations, and benefits, brands demonstrate integrity and authenticity. Honesty builds credibility, fosters positive customer experiences, and encourages long-term loyalty.

Addressing Feedback and Concerns

Transparency extends beyond promotional content. Brands should actively engage with their audience, address feedback, and respond to concerns raised on TikTok.

Acknowledging and resolving issues publicly demonstrates a commitment to transparency and customer satisfaction.

By openly addressing feedback and concerns, brands show their willingness to learn, improve, and maintain open lines of communication with their audience.

Tips for Incorporating Transparency in TikTok Brand Campaigns

Saeed Shaik
Saeed Shaik

Skilled in Ecommerce Strategy, TikTok Ads, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Facebook Ads, Social Media Marketing and DoubleClick. A strategic leader who built high performance teams grounds up generating multi-million dollar revenue streams in several startups.

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