Earlier this week, POF came out with some new and improved ad guidelines. In light of these new changes, I’d like to try to shed some light on the situation and tell you why it’s not all that bad.
POF Introduces an Updated Set of Guidelines
POF has grown quite a bit in the last few years. But with rising popularity with both marketers and users, POF was reportedly receiving an increasing number of complaints from their users about an excess of lewd images.
Yet, while explicit images were not permissible, pictures of shirtless men and women in provocative bikinis outdoors were almost becoming commonplace. So in an attempt to retain user experience, they came out with a new set of guidelines:
- No Bikinis (1-piece swimsuits as well)
- No Short Skirts (nothing shorter than mid-knee length)
- No Bare Stomachs, ie. Midriff, on women
- No Nude Torsos (topless males from the shoulder up are acceptable)
- No Short Shorts
- No Pictures of People That Look <20
- No Images of People with a “Sexual Expression” On Their Face
Essentially, if it’s not work-appropriate, the approval team has been instructed to decline your ad. This means that if your images contain women in tight dresses or who resemble adult entertainment employees, they will likely be declined.
POF Also Introduces Retroactive Declines
Not only will new ads be required to follow the new guidelines, old ads will too. This is because for the first time, POF will be conducting ongoing retroactive denials.
Retroactive denials means ads which were previously compliant under the old guidelines will not be grandfathered in and will be subjected the same approval process as new ads, resulting in a more leveled playing field
Along with these new guidelines, there will also be a greater emphasis on consistency with the approval team. While in the past this has been a minor issue with POF, their mentioning of enforcing these rules more diligently is encouraging.
5 Things to Look Forward To With New Guidelines
At first glance, these new guidelines may be incredibly discouraging to a lot of people out there. But change isn’t always a bad thing. Before dismissing these guidelines as a completely negative thing, consider the benefits of running on a stricter advertising platform:
- Higher Quality Leads – Abandoning superficial tactics will force marketers to rely more on creating ads with more substance.
- Wider Variety of Offers – As a trend of higher quality leads from POF begins to develop, more advertisers will want POF’s traffic and more of it.
- Payout Increases – At the same time, current advertisers will be more willing to pay you more for your POF traffic.
- Greater Sustainability – With a greater volume of higher quality traffic, your chances of getting kicked off of an offer for a working campaign will decrease dramatically.
- Equal Footing – Lastly, those annoying legacy ads that have somehow continued to undermine the compliance guidelines will finally be a thing of the past, placing you at equal footing with your competition.
The new guidelines mean that many POF marketers will have to re-think how they design their campaigns. No longer will people be able to rely on superficial, cheap tactics of raw sex appeal.
Also bear in mind that your landing pages will not be subjected to these new guidelines. So while some of your old ads may be getting declined, your landing pages will still be compliant.
Turn Lemons Into Lemonade
Think of the long-term gains. For instance, you may find that maintaining success in POF under these new conditions may inadvertently teach you how to create angles that could be applied to campaigns on other traffic sources.
As previously mentioned, without the use of lewd images, you will have to rely on your ability to tap into deeper emotional triggers to get users to click and convert resulting in a more universally applicable campaign.
Plus, while these changes were sudden, everyone appeared to find out at the same time without much notice. So while we wish that the community would have gotten a “heads up” of sorts, at least a majority of people out there got equal notice, leveling the playing field even further.
A Little Bit of Advice
There will be a lot of affiliates who will undoubtedly give up on POF because of the new guidelines, so take these upcoming weeks as an opportunity to take a higher share of POF traffic and innovate with new rising POF paradigm.
What you should also do is talk to your network AMs and advertisers about allowing POF traffic with its new advertising guidelines. Let them know that traffic quality is on its way to an upward trend and that you’d like to test their offer to see if it works for them now.
Some Final Words
Keep in mind that you still have access to one of the most comprehensive targeting ad platforms available today. While you may not be able to use the same images you used in the past, you can still target to any niche out there.
Ultimately, continue to explore new ideas and develop new angles while you have the chance.