60 companies say Facebook unfairly rejected their ads for women’s health products

Deepak Gupta
Deepak Gupta January 14, 2022
Updated 2022/01/14 at 6:57 PM

Five dozen companies specializing in women’s health products and services say Facebook frequently rejects their ads over objections that they contain “adult content,” according to a report by Intimate Justice Center published this week. Facebook’s advertising policies prohibit reproductive health products or services that focus on sexual pleasure, but anecdotes from the companies the Center for Intimacy Justice has interviewed or researched paint a picture of a platform that enforces these guidelines in a seemingly arbitrary and sexist way. .

The 60 companies that participated in the report had ads rejected by Facebook at one point or another. About half said they also had their accounts suspended by the social media giant. One of these companies is Joylux. offers vFit Gold, a product that women can use to strengthen the pelvic floor. “Due to the nature of our product, the look and feel of it”, Joylux CEO, Colette Courtion said The New York Times newspaper Facebook and other companies believe it is “pornographic” in nature.

Since 2017, Joylux claims that Facebook has terminated its advertising account twice. He says the company never provided a reason for these actions. It also claims that Facebook automatically denied ads that include “vagina”. This is something that Meta, the parent company of Facebook, disputes. A company spokesperson told Ploonge this does not impose a blanket ban on keywords such as “vagina” and “menopause”. Instead, it says it considers “how each ad is positioned”.

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With the help of an agency that specializes in appealing for ad rejections, Joylux has been able to place its ads on Facebook in recent years. However, the company had to alter its copy to the point that these ads were not useful to consumers. “We can’t show you what the product looks like and we can’t tell you what it does,” said Joylux The New York Times newspaper.

A spokesperson for Meta told Ploonge that their application is not perfect and that it sometimes makes mistakes. The company also noted that it has its current policy in place in part because it strives to take into account what people from different countries and cultures will take away from ads promoting adult products.

“We welcome advertisements for sexual wellness products, but we prohibit nudity and have specific rules on how these products can be marketed on our platform,” the spokesperson said. “We provide details to advertisers about what types of products and descriptions we allow in ads.”

What makes Facebook’s actions in these cases frustrating for the 60 companies that participated in the report is that they believe the Meta did not apply the same standards to ads targeting men. “Right now, it’s arbitrary to say whether or not a product is allowed in a way that we think has really sexist undertones and a lack of understanding of health,” Jackie Rotman, founder of the Center for Intimacy Justice, said. The times.

At this point, the organization found an ad promoting an erectile dysfunction pill that promised a “hot, humid American summer.” Another, promoting a lubricant, said the lotion was “just made for men alone.”

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