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Facebook Banned A Period Underwear Advertisement Because It Depicted Menstrual Blood As Red

The social media outlet labelled the commercial "shocking" and "sensational"

Facebook has come under fire after banning an advertisement for period underwear depicting menstrual blood as red.

The ad, which came from Australian period underwear brand Modibodi, was part of their campaign “The New Way To Period”, which, ironically, was launched in a bid to destimagtise the archaic views that periods are ‘disgusting’ or ‘shameful’.

After three reviews by Facebook’s policy team, the 60-second video was barred for “violating guidelines” regarding “shocking, sensational, disrespectful or excessively violent content”.

The social media outlet has indicated for the film to be used for advertising, three ‘offending’ scenes which use the colour red to represent menstrual blood have to be edited out in order to run on the platform. 

The aforementioned offending scenes from the ad, which features a number of women of different shapes, sizes and races, include a frame of a blood stain on a sheet in the washing machine, underwear being rinsed and crimson-hued water being wrung out, and a used sanitary item being thrown into a bin with other visibly stained items.

“When it comes to our periods, we’ve always been made to feel a certain way, made to feel like we have no choice,” the voice-over says.

You can watch full video below.

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Modibodi CEO and Founder Kristy Chong has since criticised the social media platform for banning the campaign, calling the decision “outdated”.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. It was not made to be deliberately sensational or provocative, but to show the very real and natural side of periods.  

“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. 

“It’s the twenty-first century and it’s disappointing Facebook doesn’t want to normalise the conversation around menstruation. We also note that other media platforms have not taken the same direction as Facebook,” says Kristy.

Like Facebook, YouTube initially barred the advertisement, however revoked their decision following a review. The commercial is also running on regional free-to-air and subscription TV. 

It’s not the first time period underwear brand has had to deal with unfair backlash for its honest representation of menstruation.

“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  

“I refused to believe this was the only way we could have a presence in the market and from day one we’ve sourced customers or everyday women from diverse backgrounds to help model and sell our products,” Chong added.  

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