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Facebook Bans Breast Cancer Campaign Ads Because Of Partial Nudity. What Even?

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If anyone were to go on my Facebook profile, they’d find a lot of pictures. Pictures of me as a kid, pictures of me before puberty hit me, pictures of me after puberty hit me and more embarrassing pictures of me in poses I can’t even understand myself. So, basically everything one could ever think of, has been immortalized on my feed in less than decent visuals.

And while Facebook allows for us to keep all of that on our profiles, it is almost shocking to learn how it doesn’t allow for what is important and the need of the hour, to pop on our feeds. We are talking about ads that spread awareness about breast cancer. In recent news, Facebook has banned several ad campaigns by Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA), casually parking it under breaching the platform’s partial-nudity policy.

BCNA, is an organisation involved in spreading awareness about breast cancer, the name certainly gives that away. This particular campaign is in partnership with an Australian bakery chain ‘Baker’s Delight’. Any sales of the ‘Pink Fun Buns’ (the ones the people featured in the campaign are showcasing!) will go to proceeds towards this cause. If you are wondering why they chose to go down this route, it is because last year, this initiative raised over  $1.6 million for the breast cancer awareness.

Of course, you would want to capitalise on that sort of momentum and BCNA attempted to do the same. Except Facebook decided to play spoilsport. The brand put up images from the campaign showing off the scars and mastectomies of nine women and one man. This was reportedly approved by Facebook last month, however, in a last minute development, it was banned by the platform before it could go live.

BCNA’s CEO, Kirsten Pilatti commented, “The opening days of the campaign are where we raise the most money for BCNA to ensure we can provide free resources to those people with breast cancer. Facebook is a very important tool for us to promote the campaign.”

In a feeble defense, Facebook said it rejected the ads because they did not contain any education about the disease or teach women how to examine their breasts. Now, if we’re getting this right, Facebook believes that such imagery is NOT vital to opening a dialogue among millions about exactly what is shown in the ads – women promoting an open conversation around breasts and breast health.

We’ve to admit, Facebook is integral to a lot of brands to increase their reach and create a conversation around their products or causes. And while we are constantly bombarded with ads for bras and panties and models in said bras and panties, apparently breasts caused the uproar. For a social platform, Facebook not allowing a social outreach of a cause as important as breast cancer, is as disappointing as it is insensitive. What is funny is that it has allowed bizarre live videos of the New Zealand church massacre and topless models on the covers of magazines in nothing more than body paint to go up without any qualms. What is so offensive in showing carefully and creatively made ads that allow for people to be in the know of breast cancer. Or is the idea of having breasts on a cover that dangerous to the society, that it must be taken off?

Could we please not have Facebook behaving like judgemental aunty who deems what people should wear or show on their social platforms? And it’s not even like this was meant to be lust-inducing. This was anything but. Then why this orthodox outlook on something that’s meant to serve society?

We disapprove.


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