You’ve set up your TikTok ad account and you’re hoping to smoothly run your ad campaigns. But then, one day, you wake up to find that your TikTok ad account is banned or suspended. You’re devastated. You no longer have access to one of the most powerful marketing channels for reaching Gen Z audiences. Why did this happen?
There are a few reasons why you might find yourself in this unfortunate scenario. TikTok has a robust set of rules and regulations that advertisers must follow. If you violate any of these rules, your account will be suspended or banned. These rules exist for a good reason — to protect users from being bombarded with spammy, irrelevant, or offensive ads.
If the platform were not regulated, it would quickly become unusable and unattractive to everyday TikTok users. In most cases, the ad moderation system works well, and the standards advertisers must adhere to are fair and reasonable. Still, advertisers should familiarise themselves with TikTok’s ad policy to avoid risking account bans. If you’re one of the unlucky ones who’s had their account banned, read on to find out the most likely reasons why.
“When you sign up to create a TikTok ad account, you agree to stick to their ad policy. You also have to pledge to not breach their extensive community guidelines. This second part is often where advertisers run into trouble.”
My TikTok Ad Account is Banned — Help!
If your TikTok ad account is banned, you probably want to find out why. What did you do to misalign with the policies held by the TikTok management team? When you sign up to create a TikTok ad account, you agree to stick to their ad policy. You also have to pledge to not breach their extensive community guidelines. This second part is often where advertisers run into trouble. The community guidelines are designed to ensure that TikTok remains a fun, safe, and positive environment for everyone. These guidelines apply to advertisers as well as users.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons for account bans on TikTok.
1. Your Ads Promoted False Claims
Just like traditional advertising, you can’t make false claims in your TikTok ads. If you try to advertise your product as a cure-all for any ailment, you’re likely to get banned. Alternatively, if you’re trying to sell counterfeit Gucci bags, you’re also going to get banned. The same goes for making false claims about your competitor’s products. Not only is this unethical, but it’s also a quick way to get your TikTok ad account taken down.
2. Your Ad Contains Something Offensive
The first and most obvious reason for a TikTok ad account ban is running an inappropriate ad. This could be an ad that is inappropriate or uses offensive language. Remember, TikTok is a platform used by people of all ages, so your ads must be suitable for a general audience. If you try sneaking in an ad that’s only appropriate for an adult audience, you could end up getting banned. Do your best to avoid it. Instead, find creative ways to market your product or service without resorting to offensive or explicit content. Adding content that includes content related to religion or politics can sometimes be considered offensive, dependent on what is happening in the content.
3. You Tried to Advertise an Illegal Product or Service
This goes without saying, but if you’re trying to advertise something illegal on the platform, TikTok police is not going to be very happy about it. This means no ads for illegal drugs, weapons, or other banned substances. And yes, this also means no illicit services. Not only will you get your ad account banned, but you might also find yourself in some hot water with the law. So probably not worth it.
4. Your Ad is Promoting or Opposing a Political Figure or Party
TikTok doesn’t want to be seen as taking sides in any political disputes. As a result, they don’t allow ads that promote or oppose any political figures or parties. If you’re trying to get people to vote for a particular candidate or campaign for a specific political party, you’ll need to find another platform to do it. This also means that creating an ad campaign for or against specific political issues is generally not allowed on TikTok.
Things do get a little bit hazy though when it comes to cause-based advertising. According to the TikTok Business Center – “Cause-based advertising or public service announcements from non-profit organisations or government agencies may be allowed, if not driven by partisan political motives”. However, they do state that in order to get approval for these types of ads, you must be working directly with a TikTok Sales Representative.
“If something in your ad could potentially cause danger to viewers if they tried emulating it, a ban could follow. For example, if you’re ironically suggesting that users jump out of a moving car or lean over the side of a tall building to get the perfect TikTok video, you’re going to have some problems.”
5. You’re Promoting a Dangerous Activity
TikTok doesn’t want their users to engage in dangerous activities. What’s more, they definitely don’t want their platform being used to promote such activities. If something in your ad could potentially cause danger to viewers if they tried emulating it, a ban could follow. For example, if you’re ironically suggesting that users jump out of a moving car or lean over the side of a tall building to get the perfect TikTok video, you’re going to have some problems.
6. Your Business is Unsuitable for TikTok Advertising
TikTok doesn’t allow some products and services to be advertised on their platform, even if they are legal. This means you can’t promote your funeral service or influencer recruitment agency. Work in the hazardous chemical industry? TikTok isn’t the place for you to be advertising. Generally speaking, if your product or service is controversial in some way or is likely to upset users, then TikTok is probably not going to allow you to advertise it.
Two industries that face scrutiny from TikTok include crypto currency and CBD oils. We often get companies from these industries requesting us to run their TikTok campaigns. At the time this article was posted, companies belonging to these industries have not been allowed promote their services on TikTok.
7. You’re Promoting Hate Speech or Bullying
TikTok has a strict policy against hate speech and bullying, and this extends to advertising. So your ad doesn’t have to directly promote hate speech or bullying. You can receive a ban if there could be a perception of condoning such activities. Instructing viewers to engage in anything which could be interpreted as cyber bullying? That could be a TikTok advertising ban. The same goes for ads that could be seen as discriminatory towards a specific group of people in any way.
8. You’re Selling Animals
The sale of animals is not allowed on TikTok. As such, you won’t be able to promote your pet store or animal breeding business. This also includes any ads for animal parts or products. So, if you’re selling fur coats or ivory carvings then TikTok is not the place for you. However, if you’re an NGO or government organisation working to protect animals, you may be able to get approval for cause-based advertising as discussed in point 4.
Note: There are market-specific prohibitions that vary from country to country. For example, don’t even think about promoting your dating app in the advertising region which includes the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. However, you’ll be fine in Europe, the UK and Israel. Before you launch a campaign, you may want to check the rules for the specific market you’re targeting. The TikTok Business Center has a full list of these prohibitions for each country.
Famous TikTok Bans and Why They Happened
TikTok has seen a number of controversial figures come and go. Some of these characters have even tried to run ad campaigns on the platform, only to get banned shortly afterwards. So let’s take a look at some of the most famous TikTok bans. Find out what these people did to incur the wrath of the TikTok team below.
The infamous Andrew Tate was banned from TikTok in 2022 for repeatedly breaching the platform’s community guidelines. As well his controversial views on women, Tate is also known for his promotion of other controversial activities. His Hustler’s University — a “program” he created that aims to teach people how to make money through various dubious means — some have suggested that it is a nothing more than a multi-level marketing scheme that Tate used to line his own pockets and raise his profile.
But despite his removal from the platform, thousands of fan accounts still continue to upload his content. This is forcing the TikTok algorithm to work overtime to keep this content off users’ feeds.
Twitch streamer and political commentator Hasan Piker (who goes by the handle @hasandpiker) is one of the most recent casualties of TikTok’s swift and decisive ban hammer. Piker, who is coincidentally one of Andrew Tate’s arch nemeses, was banned from the platform in 2022 for comments he made during a live stream on his Twitch channel.
In the stream, Piker made various controversial statements regarding the Queen and her passing. He then spliced this into a short TikTok and uploaded it to the platform. The ban, however, was short-lived, and as of writing, his account has been reinstated with the offending video removed.
Perhaps one of the platform’s most ironic bans belongs to none other than TikTok superstar Addison Rae. Rae, who has over 88 million followers on the platform, was temporarily banned from TikTok in 2021 for just under an hour. How did she momentarily torpedo her multimillion-dollar TikTok account? Well, nobody knows for sure, but it was probably a mistake made on behalf of the TikTok algorithm.
As the platform’s highest earner (recently overtaking super-influencer Charli D’Amelio) it’s not surprising that TikTok acted quickly to reinstate her account. If you’re a smaller fish in the TikTok pond, however, you may not be so lucky.
Need Help With Your Banned TikTok Advertising Account?
Contact our TikTok Marketing Agency
If you’re serious about advertising on TikTok, your best bet is to partner with a reputable TikTok agency. At House of Marketers, we’re experts in all things TikTok and we will do what we can to help you run your TikTok ads in an ad account that remains on the right side of TikTok’s policies. We can help you navigate its advertising policy and community guidelines. We’ll do what we can to ensure your ad account stays in good standing and to help you create high-quality, engaging content that resonates with users. Contact us today to learn more about our TikTok marketing services.