Facebook bans ‘shocking’ undies ad
Facebook has maintained a ban on an advert for women's period undies despite its creators fighting the ruling three times.
Australian underwear brand Modibodi specialises in "leak-proof" undies that help women during their menstruation cycles as well as with incontinence. Unlike traditional sanitary pads and tampons, the underwear has a special lining built in that absorbs the bodily fluids and can be used, washed and re-used multiple times.
But the brand's latest ad campaign, which discusses how women are made to feel "gross" when they have their periods, has been labelled "shocking" and "sensational" by Facebook for showing images of menstrual blood.
Modibodi's founder and CEO Kristy Chong, who fought the ban on the 60-second clip, has criticised the social media platform for its ruling, branding the decision "outdated".
"Our aim for this film was to open people's minds by taking the stigma out of what is a perfectly natural bodily function for women," she told news.com.au.
"It was not made to be deliberately sensational or provocative, but to show the very real and natural side of periods.
"It's the 21st century and it's disappointing Facebook don't want to normalise the conversation around menstruation."
The video, titled "The New Way to Period", shows various women in the midst of their menstrual cycles experiencing visible pain and discomfort.
It also shows images of stained bed sheets and bathroom bins filled with used sanitary items and tissues as a voiceover states women have "always been made to feel uncomfortable" during their time of the month.
Facebook said the advert violated its guidelines regarding shocking, sensational, disrespectful or excessively violent content.
YouTube had also initially banned the ad but later rescinded the decision following a review and the commercial is also running on regional free-to-air and subscription TV.
Ms Chong said that in order for the ad to run on the social media platform, three offending scenes which use the colour red to represent menstrual blood need to be edited out.
"We are not only stunned that they've taken this decision against the film, but also surprised that they'd claim the ad contained shocking, sensational, disrespectful or excessively violent content," she said.
"We've used red to represent blood from day one and 'The New Way to Period' shows the real side of menstruation and that there are better options available than eco-damaging disposable pads, liners and tampons."
On the brand's Instagram page people have applauded the advert, saying it is "refreshingly real".
Research shows period undies can save the average Australian woman a minimum of $3600 by ditching the 12,000 to 16,000 tampons and sanitary pads used in her lifetime.
Underwear prices start at $24 and have varying absorption levels, from super light to heavy overnight.
As well as menstrual blood, there are products that cater for women who often experience "leakage" during and after their pregnancy, as well as workout garments for excess sweat.
The brand also recently launched a bikini and swimsuit for those who want to go swimming while they have their periods too. It has a two-layer technology, the outer of which is water-resistant while the internal layer is moisture-wicking, absorbent and quick-drying.
"As long as the swimwear fits snug to the body then the internal layer manages any flow from your body while the outer layer stops any ocean flow getting in," the brand's website reads.
The one-piece is available for $100, while the bikini bottoms that can be worn with any top you own costs $40.
Originally published as Facebook bans 'shocking' undies ad