Ads for Bail Bonds Are Now Prohibited on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Audience Network

Addiction treatment centers must undergo a rigorous screening process

The sign is fine, but Facebook is now off-limits JLFCapture/iStock

Chico’s Bail Bonds may have been able to sponsor the Bad News Bears, but it can no longer run ads on Facebook.

The social network said in a blog post that ads for bail bonds are now prohibited on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and mobile ad network Facebook Audience Network.

Facebook said it “consulted a wide range of policy experts, advocates and community organizations working in criminal justice” before crafting this policy, adding that it is similar to its existing ban on short-term loans, or payday loans.

The social network wrote, “Faced with the arrest of a loved one, many people lack the money to post bail, leaving them vulnerable to exploitative bail bond offers that can lead to insurmountable debt.”

Facebook also revealed that it is teaming up with third-party certification service LegitScript to ensure that only legitimate addition treatment centers can advertise on its platform.

LegitScript will review such facilities looking to advertise to U.S. users of the social network, evaluating them on the following criteria:

  • Registration as a corporate entity or legal person in the state or jurisdiction where it offers services.
  • Compliance with state legal and regulatory licensing requirements for addiction treatment facilities or other activities it is engaged.
  • Domain names must be accurate and transparently registered, and all domain names under the applicant’s control must be provided.
  • Websites must “conspicuously disclose” the physical address of the facility or facilities.
  • Written policies and procedures must be shared, as well as actual treatment or intervention services offered or recommended by the program.
  • Résumés must be provided for the business owner, leadership and treatment professionals.
  • Documents establishing ownership or lease agreements for the facility’s physical location must be provided.
  • The facility must be a professional (business) setting, not a residential setting.
  • Background checks will be conducted on the applicant and “key staff.”
  • Applicants must disclose all physical properties and corporate entities under their control or to which participants in their programs are referred.
  • Proof of insurance to operate an addiction treatment facility or service must be provided.
  • Compliance is required with all provisions of applicable laws and regulations, and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) or similar privacy provisions.
  • None of the applicant’s business practices may engage in practices or extend offers that may deceive or defraud patients or the public in any way.
  • Use or recommended use of pharmaceutical interactions shall be limited to drugs that are approved by the appropriate regulatory authority (e.g., the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) for such purpose.
  • The applicant must disclose all incentives offered or provided to patients or clients to use the applicant’s services.

Once approved by LegitScript, addiction treatment centers must apply here in order to advertise on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger or Audience Network.

Facebook wrote in its blog post, “As more and more people struggle with drug and alcohol addiction, public health experts have warned about some addiction treatment centers that have emerged that fail to meet basic healthcare quality standards. Many of these take part in insurance scams and many keep people in a cycle of addiction with unproven treatment methods.” David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.