Running Meta ads in the EU? You need to know about their new beneficiary and payer requirements

Who needs more hoops to jump through for social media ads? We know you don’t!

But whether you like it or not the European Union and Meta are giving you one, and if you don’t comply your ads will not run on Meta at all (in the EU)!

Don’t worry though, it’s not too laborious and arguably will make Meta ads even more transparent.

In a statement on their Business Help Centre Meta said:

“if your Facebook or Instagram ads target the EU or its associated territories, or selected worldwide, you’ll have the option to enter the person or organisation who is benefiting from the ad (“beneficiary”). You’ll also have the option to enter the person or organisation paying for the ad (“payer”), if that person or organisation is different from the “beneficiary”.

“As of 10 July 2023, this information will be required for all new, duplicated or edited ads targeting the EU or its associated territories. If you do not enter the information, your ad will not be published. This requirement applies to all ad creation surfaces, including the Marketing API.”

Meta Business Help Centre

What do you need to do?

It’s pretty simple really. To make things as smooth as possible Meta has added an option at Ad Set level. If looking to run ads in the EU the below option will be shown. The drop down will include suggested organisations you have access to in Ad Manager and a free text box. 

Beneficiary and payer panel from Meta Ads Manager.

What are beneficiaries and payers?

There are no hard and fast rules but you should be honest and transparent about who is benefiting (the beneficiary – normally your company or charity name) and who is paying for the ads.

Here are some examples:

  • Small to medium businesses and charities: Your beneficiary should be the name of your organisation and your payer would be the same. But if you are receiving funding for the ads from elsewhere it may be a good idea to include them as the payer.
  • Subsidiaries of parent companies: You should add your beneficiary as your subsidiary name or brand name, and the payer could be the parent company.
  • An individual promoting a specific product, service, candidate etc: Your beneficiary could be the name of the product, service, candidate etc., and the payer could be your name.

Ultimately it is down to you as the advertiser to comply with these requirements but Meta are pushing you into doing so by ensuring your ads do not run if this information isn’t provided.

Why is this happening?

The requirements are being introduced thanks to the EU Digital Services Act (DSA). All advertisers running ads in the EU will need to comply with the regulations by 10 July 2023.

The DSA, alongside the Digital Market Act (DMA), have two main goals according to the European Union:

  1. to create a safer digital space in which the fundamental rights of all users of digital services are protected;
  2. to establish a level playing field to foster innovation, growth, and competitiveness, both in the European Single Market and globally.

What do we think about this?

Ultimately anything that aims to make the advertising world more transparent, honest and open is okay by us. We think that sensible regulations can help make the world a better place. We welcomed the measures taken to ensure social and political issue ads became more transparent and we hope these new measures can help do the same for regular advertising in Meta.

To learn more about the DSA and DMA visit the European Commission website.

To learn more about this from Meta visit their Business Help Centre.

James is a strategic and analytical thinker with a creative flair and love for the psychology of social media. He's been working in marketing and communications since 2012 and specialised in social media when launching Social Firefly in 2018. He's an ever struggling piano player, a fair weather sea kayaker and a travel lover.