For the last 4 years, Pinterest Promote Pins have been improving, updating, and evolving. In today’s post I’m sharing 21 Ad Mistakes to avoid.

When I say I have made a LOT of mistakes and spent $1000’s of dollars on Promoted pins from having pins denied, approved, and my account shut down… It’s all true. 

I’ve been running promoted pins since December of 2014 when they rolled it out of beta for all Pinterest Business accounts. At the time the only countries that could launch a promoted pin were U.S.A. and Canada.

There definately wasn’t anyone teaching promoted Pins and for the most part it felt like Pinterest was learning along side with me.

I would created a promoted pin, they would deny it, I would ask why, they would tell me, I would fix it, they would then approve it.

It went on like this for months. We learned a lot from each other and that is what I share with you inside my Pinning Ingredients course. My biggest secrets, shortcuts, and what really works on Pinterest.

Today’s focus is on the DON’T of Pinterest Promoted Pins…

21 Ad Mistakes to Avoid

There are certain categories that Pinterest does not allow you to run ads for. They might be considered disruptive or problematic, regardless of context.

At the end of the day, YOU are totally responsible for the content you promote on Pinterest, as well as safety and trustworthiness of products and services you offer.

With that being said…

Here is the list of 21 Ads that are never allowed on Pinterest.

(Note: Not too long ago network marketing use to be on this list. Today you can now run a promoted pin to your MLM.)

This platform is ever evolving, so while these are a no, no for now. Times and tolerance change over time.

Here are your 21 Ad Mistakes in no particular order…

21. Unacceptable Business Practices
We don’t allow anything that promotes products, services or business models that we consider unacceptable. This includes models like penny or bidding fee auctions, payday loans, plaintiff recruitment services and financial services that facilitate the purchase or trade of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. We also don’t allow business models that don’t clearly explain their value proposition or use deceptive tactics with customers.

20. Weapons and Explosives –
We don’t allow weapons, fireworks or explosives that can cause damage, harm or injury. We also don’t allow instructions for how to use or make any of these products. Ads can’t promote:

  • Guns, firearms, ammunition or any imagery of these items. This includes functioning antique devices, BB guns, airsoft guns, paintball guns and lifelike fake firearms.
  • Gun accessories of any kind
  • Knives intended for violent use (like switchblades or hunting knives)
  • Products intended for damage or injury (like crossbows, tasers or pepper spray)  
  • Fireworks
  • Explosives
  • Instructions on how to make weapons or fireworks, or information on how to harm or kill people

19. Tobacco –
You can’t promote tobacco products like cigarettes, e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco, or paraphernalia like pipes, pipe cleaners or rolling papers.

18. Suspicious Supplements –
We want to keep users safe from potentially harmful products. We don’t allow:

  • Weight loss or appetite suppressant pills and supplements
  • Products we suspect could be unsafe, unreliable, easily abused, or psychoactive

17. Suspicious Claims –
Promising unexpected or unlikely results can break trust, so we take a close look at product and service claims. We don’t allow claims regarding:

  • The treatment, diagnosis, prevention, or cure of disease.
  • Unlikely or dangerous weight loss.
  • This includes implied claims through before-and-after imagery.
  • Unrealistic cosmetic results within specific time frames.
  • Large financial return for minimal effort or investment

16. Sensitive Content –
We want to keep Pinterest a safe place for discovering possibilities, so we don’t allow divisive or disturbing ads that could trigger users. We don’t allow language or imagery that is:

  • Offensive or profane (censored or not)
  • Excessively violent or gory
  • Sickening or gross
  • Sexually suggestive
  • Politically, culturally or racially insensitive

15. Restricted Healthcare –
Pinterest only allows some conventional healthcare products. We don’t allow:

  • Class III medical devices
  • Clinical trial recruitment

Class I and II medical devices are OK. Contraceptive products that don’t focus on sexual pleasure or performance are OK. Addiction services focused on recovery and support are OK as long as the imagery and language don’t violate our policies around clickbait or sensitive content.

14. Political Campaigning (boy did I see this fail on Pinterest in 2016)
We don’t allow campaigns for:

  • The election or defeat of political candidates running for public office
  • Political parties or action committees
  • Political issues with the intent to influence an election
  • Legislation, including referendums or ballot initiatives

**This might be just the reason to spend more time on Pinterest altogether! LOL. You will never see an election ad!

13. Pinterest Incentives –
We don’t allow anything that directs people to click on Pinterest buttons to get money, prizes or deals.

12. Pharmaceuticals –
Pinterest doesn’t currently engage with the pharmaceutical industry. We don’t allow:

  • Branded or unbranded ads from pharmaceutical manufacturers
  • Prescription drugs for humans or pets
  • Online pharmacies

OTC medicines that don’t require a prescription are OK. Prescription healthcare products like eyeglasses and contact lenses are OK.

11. Nudity –
Promoted content shows up in places that it normally wouldn’t so we have to be a bit more conservative with nudity. We’ll reject anything with nudity—artistic or not—as well as some images that aren’t actual nudity. For example, we don’t allow implied nudity (such as blurred out images and illustrations), implied sexual activity (clothed or unclothed), or any focus on certain body parts (genitals, pubic hair, male or female butt and female breasts.)

You can advertise modeled clothing such as bathing suits and lingerie, as long as the pose and product aren’t adult-themed or overtly sexual.

10. Online Gambling and Lotteries, or Games of Skill –
You can’t promote any kind of lottery, gambling game applications or gambling websites. We also don’t accept ads for fantasy sports or other online prize-based games that require payment for entry.

Ads for brick and mortar casinos that don’t lead to online gambling, lotteries or games of skill are okay.

9. Live Animals & Products From Endangered or Threatened Species –
You can’t promote the sale of live animals. You also can’t advertise products made from tortoise shell, ivory, coral, crocodile skin, tiger, polar bear or sea otter fur, and other endangered wildlife. This includes medicinal products made from rhinos, tigers or Asiatic black bears. For a full list of prohibited wildlife products, please visit our partner, the World Wildlife Fund.

8. Imitation or Counterfeit Goods –
We never allow ads for:

  • Knockoff products
  • Brand-name replicas
  • Goods wrongfully advertised as authentic brand-name
  • Fake IDs, passports or other official documents

7. Illegal or Recreational Drugs –
We don’t allow:

  • Imagery, sale or use of illegal or recreational drugs
  • Informational material about the use or legalization of illegal or recreational drugs
  • Related paraphernalia for using, storing or consuming illegal or recreational drugs

6. Illegal Activity –
You can’t promote anything that facilitates or promotes illegal activity.

  • Playing on fear
  • Critiquing deficiencies
  • Damaging self-esteem
  • Using alarmist or gawk-worthy language or images
  • Purposefully withholding critical information

5. Clickbait –
We want ads to be beautiful, useful and inspiring. We don’t want them to pressure or trick users with baiting content. We don’t allow sensational clickbait tactics that exploit user curiosity by:

4. Badware & Hacking –
We don’t allow anything that links to software that results in a misleading user experience. We also don’t allow products that promote instructions for or equipment to illegally access or tamper with software, servers, cell phones or websites.

3. Adult Products & Services –
You can’t promote sex toys, videos, publications, live shows, sexual enhancement products, or services that provide casual sex, international match-making or escorts.

There last two actually have restrictions on their ads. These two products and services can become a promoted pin, they just have to follow these guidelines.

2. Contest & Sweepstakes –
If you promote a contest or sweepstakes, please encourage authentic behavior, keep Pinterest spam-free and be sure to comply with all relevant laws and regulations. In addition, please:

  • Don’t require participants to save a specific image
  • Don’t allow more than one entry per participant
  • Don’t suggest that Pinterest sponsors or endorses you or the promotions
  • Make sure participants use the word “contest” or “sweepstakes” in their descriptions or images when they save Pins for the event

#1. Alcohol –
You can promote ads for alcohol, including beer, wine, spirits, liqueurs, and alcohol memberships.
In all cases, you’re responsible for complying with applicable federal and local laws and regulatory guidelines, including age gating where necessary.
Alcohol ads on Pinterest:

  • Can’t be Buyable Pins or Shopping Ads
  • Can’t target minors, or depict minors consuming alcoholic beverages
  • Can’t associate the consumption of alcohol to enhanced physical performance, improved social standing or better sexual success
  • Can’t imply that drinking excessively is beneficial, or that alcohol has therapeutic qualities either as a stimulant or relaxant
  • Can’t depict people under the influence of alcohol, or associate drinking with activities that are risky (such as driving, operating heavy machinery), antisocial or illegal
  • Can’t emphasize high alcoholic content as a positive quality

Promoting ads about the following products or services are always okay, and won’t be considered alcohol advertising:

  • Accessories like wine glasses, beer steins and flasks
  • Homebrewing kits
  • Recipes for drinks or food containing alcohol
  • Recipes that suggest paired alcoholic beverages
  • Events that may involve alcohol consumption, like happy hours, winery tours and homebrewing classes
  • Events sponsored by alcohol brands
  • News and information about alcohol products

Did any of these really shock you? More like common sense if you think about how the Pinterest platform is use by your customers.

There are some country specific guidelines that might have to be met so make sure you know those also. 🙂

Ultimately at the end of the day, this is Pinterest’s platform. They can deny or remove any ad that negatively impacts those using their platform.

I’m sure you have rules for people coming into your home or business. Pinterest reserves the right to do the same. Also note, rules can always be changed.

Just like I said above… Network Marketing promoted pins use to be a no, no. Now if done correctly… you can use Promoted Pins to build your team. Learn more inside my Pinning Ingredients course.

Did you get value from today’s post? Share and comment below. You know I love hearing from you! 🙂

Your’s in Gratitude,

Chef Katrina

Chef Katrina

P.S. Learn how to generate up to 70 leads a day for your business. Watch my free Pinning Ingredients training now! Unless you already have too many leads for your business.