An ad for Australian period underwear brand, Modibodi, has been banned by Facebook for being ‘shocking’ and ‘sensational’.
Modibodi, which specialises in period and leak-proof underwear with a built in liner, launched ‘The New Way To Period’ campaign earlier this month in an effort to normalise menstruation by using the colour red to represent blood.
The ad shows various women in the midst of their menstrual cycle, which Facebook deemed a breach of their guidelines after three reviews.
Modibodi’s founder and CEO Kristy Chong, who fought the ban on the 60-second clip, criticised the social media platform for its ruling, branding the decision “outdated”.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. It was not made to be deliberately sensational or provocative, but to show the very real and natural side of periods,” she told Yahoo Lifestyle.
“It’s the 21st century and it’s disappointing Facebook doesn’t want to normalise the conversation around menstruation.”
She said they used the colour red in the ad to represent blood from day one of a period cycle and that there are “better options available than eco-damaging disposable pads, liners and tampons”.
“It’s time to put an end to menstrual taboos. Period,’ she said.
Customers from Modibodi RED, the brand’s teen range of period underwear, were also shocked at the decision, with 14-year-old Ciara telling Yahoo Lifestyle: “I think the ad has shock value, but the point is that it shouldn’t be shocking.
“This is a normal and natural process that every person who menstruates goes through, so why should the reality of it be disturbing? I love the ad, everyone should see it.”
15-year-old Abbie agreed, saying: “I think it’s so important for people to see this ad, whether you get your period or not. It’s so important that this becomes normal and that teens aren’t shamed for getting their period and they aren’t shocked by it when it happens. The ad is real and shows what really happens when you get your period, not the unrealistic images that some ads show.”
According to ModiBodi, in order for Facebook to consider running the ad, three offending scenes which use the colour red to represent menstrual blood would have to be edited out.
Facebook Australia and New Zealand director, Naomi Shepherd, told Mumbrella that while she ‘loves’ the video ModiBodi created to promote the range, Faceboko has a ‘high set of standards’ for what content can be included in ads.
“Our Community Standards outline what is and isn’t allowed on our free services, however, when it comes to ads on Facebook we have a higher set of standards for what content can be included in an ad,” she said.
“Our Advertising Policies are more restrictive because they take paid distribution to appear in people’s personal News Feeds and clearly state that ads must not contain text or images that may shock or that focuses on someone’s personal attributes, including their physical or mental health condition.”
Modibodi’s mission is to break down taboos around periods and period undies, however, the brand has come up against fierce opposition in the past.
“From the very beginning, I was repeatedly told we'd need super glamorous models to make supposed unmentionable topics (menstruation and incontinence) tolerable to Australian women and the media,” Kirsty said.
“As a company, we have always faced our opposers head on, encouraging them to open up the conversation surrounding the issue, and ultimately, challenge them to try Modibodi before making a judgement.”
According to ModiBodi, YouTubealso initially banned the ad but later rescinded the decision following a review of the decision.
In March, ModiBodi saw a huge increase in sales, as many women turned to the brand for a reusable and cost-efficient alternative to sanitary products.
A spokesperson explained that between five and seven pairs of Modibodi will see you through your period for two years.
With standard five or seven bundle packs setting shoppers back between $132 and $160, your period will cost you a maximum of $6 a month, and you can use the undies whenever.
Earlier this month, the brand also caused a flurry of excitement when they launched period-proof bikinis and swimsuits for women.