Tommee Tippee, an infant feeding and bottle brand, has launched ‘The Boob Life’, a new campaign which aims to put mums first. Facebook, however, is refusing to air the full ad.
Tommee Tippee has faced numerous obstacles from advertisers who are reluctant to support their portrayal of breastfeeding.
ClearAds, the Australian ad review platform, originally labeled the video an MA 15+ for ‘nudity’. On Friday, that rating was reduced to an M.
Facebook has not approved the original ad, or a shortened version that contains no nipples, on the basis that the advert contains ‘adult content’.
This is the full, uncensored video.
Vanessa Gonzalez, Tommee Tippee’s Marketing Manager, told B&T that a “Facebook representative told us that even though it may be an ad referencing breastfeeding, that they don’t allow nudity in any form and that the creative should be revisited so as not to cause negative interactions or experiences.”
“If you’re offended by a mother feeding their baby then just look away. Censoring The Boob Life only serves to reinforce archaic attitudes towards mothers and women — advertisers have an opportunity to change that.”
The brand believes that this choice is a damaging message for mums, and women more generally, across Australia. Banning or censoring the ad implies that women should hide their breastfeeding, and labels it as shameful or wrong.
Tommee Tippee conducted research that found that ninety-three per cent of mothers felt that the emotional, mental and physical challenges of infant feeding are under-acknowledged in society.
‘The Boob Life’ features a diverse cast, including a mother with an arm disability, a mother who has had a mastectomy, and a mum tandem-feeding newborn twins.
The film’s depiction of breastfeeding ranges from breast pumping to leaking post-feed breasts, to milk squirting from a nipple.
Gonzalez added, “so often the mother gets forgotten about when the baby arrives and not enough is done to recognise and celebrate her journey.”
“We created this campaign because we wanted to show a raw and honest portrayal of different feeding journeys. Even if one mum walks away after watching The Boob Life and sees herself represented in the film, then we’ve done what we set out to do.”
Facebook has approved a fifteen-second version of the ad, which focuses on the Tommee Tippee products rather than on the mothers themselves.
Gonzalez takes issue with the objection to showing breasts and nipples on screen.
“Giving imagery of breastfeeding an adult content classification is antiquated as it lumps feeding a baby and pornography into the same category; there is nothing sexual about a mother who is breastfeeding.”
Midwife Cath, one of Australia’s best-known midwives, has supported the ad and called for media buyers to reconsider the decision.
She said in a statement that, “one of the universal truths of becoming a mother is that breastfeeding is different for every mum, and breasts come in all different shapes and sizes.”
“I love this ad…it’s uplifting and shows a realistic view of women and their experiences with feeding their babies.”
Gonzalez hopes Facebook will reconsider their decision on both the original ad, and the nipple-less 30 second version.
“They are in a position to improve how we treat women and mums across Australia and the rest of the world.”
B&T has reached out to Facebook for comment
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