Facebook Denies Claims It Banned NZ Period Underwear Ads For Depicting Blood

Facebook Denies Claims It Banned NZ Period Underwear Ads For Depicting Blood

New Zealand-based period underwear brand AWWA has claimed that Facebook banned an ad for its products as they featured period blood.

The 90 second ad – which is currently playing on YouTube and TVNZ OnDemand – is called ‘Period Lockdown: a short film’ and depicts two housemates with their periods. In the ad, dried period blood is featured, as well as a person wringing period blood from their underwear.

According to AWWA, they were told that the ad violates Facebooks ‘Shock and Scare policy’, so had not been approved.

On Facebook’s website, the Shock and Scare policy says that, “ads must not promote shocking, sensational, gory or excessively violent content that may shock or scare viewers.”

Michele Wilson, one of AWWA’s co-founders, said, “it’s disappointing that Facebook doesn’t want to normalise the conversation around periods in 2021.”

“The aim of AWWA’s campaign was to remove the stigma and taboos from what is a perfectly normal bodily function that half the population experience.”

The brand then created a 15 second censored ad for Facebook, which links back to AWWA’s website, where the full video can be found.

Last year, Facebook was forced to backtrack after banning Australian period company Modibodi’s ‘New Way To Period’ campaign, which similarly depicted the realities of having periods, including imagery of dried blood.

However, Facebook has denied the claims that AWWA’s ad was banned.

A spokerspon told New Zealand publication NewsHub that the ad is allowed to run in full on AWWA’s social accounts, but that a cut down version is being used as a commercial advertisement. They said that there are a strict set of guidelines regarding commercial advertising and paid amplification on Facebook.

Antonia Sanda, Facebook’s head of communication New Zealand told the publication that: “We know these issues are complicated, and our team has been working closely with AWWA to advise how to run this campaign on our platforms.”

“The AWWA campaign video is running in full on the AWWA Facebook and IG page. A cut down version of the video is also running as paid content on our platform.”

Facebook has previously been accused of censoring other ads that relate to formerly ‘taboo’ subjects like periods. In February of this year, Australian baby-needs brand Tommee Tippee said Facebook had refused to approve an ad which depicted breastfeeding after it was classified as ‘adult content’.

They also refused to approve a censored version of the ad, which did not show nipples.




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