Facebook’s Facebook Ads Blocking for Health Products and Services May Be Gender Bias, Study Finds

Today, the Center for Intimacy Justice (CIJ) released a report on the impact of Meta’s ad blocking practices on health products and services specifically aimed at women and non-binary people, after a study of 60 space companies.

  • After partnering with a pelvic floor physiotherapy startup Origin To survey 42 of those companies that offer these products and services, all of which said they tried to advertise on Facebook, the CIJ found that 50% of these companies had their entire accounts suspended, at least temporarily, by the platform.
  • Facebook violation adult product and service advertising policy This is the most common reason Facebook gives for refusing these ads, association founder and CEO Jackie Rotman told Marketing Brew.
  • According to Facebook guidelines, advertisements cannot promote the “sale or use of adult products or services” or focus on sexual pleasure.
  • But the report indicates numerous suggestive advertisements for Men’s sexual health products that have been approved for posting on Facebook (including ads for Hims and Manscaped), contrasting them with much less suggestive health products for women and non-binary individuals that have been rejected.

Why is this important: Facebook is the “biggest business engine” for many of these companies, Rotman, who wrote about inequalities in advertising for the NYT, tell us.

For example: coral, a sexual wellness company founded by a gay woman, had been advertising on Facebook since 2019 – but was banned from launching app installation campaigns on Facebook in June 2021 “although direct competitors can advertise and with very explicit content, “Coral told us Amy Neumann, Senior Marketing Manager. “It has seriously affected our growth trajectory,” she said.

Marketing Brew has contacted Meta regarding the report’s findings and Coral’s experience. “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. We have provided details to advertisers about the types of products and descriptions we allow in advertisements, ”said Devon Kearns, spokesperson for Meta, in response.

Seems familiar? When sex tech company Dame reported similar gender biases in how the MTA applied its advertising guidelines after its ads were rejected, the MTA essentially banned all advertisements for products of a sexual nature. Rotman doesn’t want the same results here. “We don’t want Facebook to stop allowing [ads for] ED or other brands of men’s health products. We just want to level the playing field, ”she told us.—PB

Maria J. Book