A recent report by non-profit organisation Center for Intimacy Justice (CIJ) done together with pelvic health start-up Origin has claimed that Facebook parent company Meta rejects ads on women’s health while allowing ads by men’s sexual wellness companies with sexual innuendos to run on Facebook and Instagram. According to the report, the categories of start-ups with rejected ads included menopause, pelvic pain, pregnancy or postpartum care, menstrual health, fertility, sexual wellness, education, and others. Meta commonly classified these health ads as “adult products” and the report claimed that “Meta appears to apply this policy unevenly”.

Ads from companies including VFit, Intimate Rose and Genneve were said to be censored by Meta. On the other hand, the report said that ads with sexual innuendos from men’s sexual wellness brands such as Hims and Manscaped were allowed to run on Meta’s platforms.

Of the 60 businesses studied in the report, all of them (100%) had experienced Facebook or Instagram rejecting an ad. Half of survey respondents also reported Facebook suspending their entire ad accounts. According to the report, 59 of the businesses were founded and led by women while the one business was led by a non-binary individual.

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CIJ said that 44 women’s health companies participated in the survey and 42 of those had attempted to advertise on Meta. The survey was also distributed through women’s health founder networks on LinkedIn and by email. According to the report, Google, TikTok, and other ad platforms were also included in the survey and found to have rejected ads.

CIJ explained that the importance of changing Meta and tech platforms’ discriminatory policies is “far-reaching” because of the sexual health information access benefiting women and people of diverse genders. Doing so will also create a culture of equity and well-being in intimacy, as well as tech advancement and investment or funding for health of women and people of diverse genders, CIJ explained in its report. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to CIJ and Meta for comment.

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