Facebook Bans Breastfeeding Ad Campaign (NSFW)

These breastfeeding photos may not be suitable for work, but just because they're NSFW, should they be banned? Facebook says yes. We say come on, Mark Zuckerberg!

Facebook Bans Breastfeeding Ad Campaign BooneOakley

When you grocery-shop, you probably keep an eye out for healthy ingredients, maybe even those that are certified organic. But one of arguably the most organic foods ever—breastmilk—is unnecessarily getting flack on Facebook for showing just that: the purity and power of breastfeeding.

An ad agency based in Charlotte, N.C., BooneOakley recently released a passion-project campaign for their team that sends stickers—free of charge!—to any baby-friendly hospital. The stickers were inspired by the ones you see in the produce section on bananas, oranges and other vegetables and fruit and are meant to send the message they read: "The best nutrition for your baby is you." A leader on the project, Mary Gross, said: "Although [my co-worker] Kara and I don't have kids, the idea started when we were talking to our [other] co-worker who is a new mom. She was telling us how difficult breastfeeding can be. We wanted to create a campaign that would encourage women to breastfeed, and give them reasons to keep trying even when things get hard."

AdWeek quickly featured the campaign (and um, gave it raving reviews), and account coordinator Katie Casella posted the link on her personal Facebook page. Within 24 hours, the post was removed. Though Facebook gives the option to report content—which is likely what one of her Facebook friends did—what's discerning is Facebook's response. The reason? Because the image that was pulled up on the post showed—very minimal—breast and Facebook deemed it against their standards of nudity and sexual exploitation. However, their note said nudity wouldn't be removed if it was educational—which the link was.

"When I woke up, my account was temporarily suspended for sharing this content," Casella said. "Considering that I wasn't sharing the images themselves, but the actual article in its entirety, which talks about the educational benefit of this campaign I feel a little offended that this would have been reported."

We would hope that a vocal new dad like Mark Zuckerberg who stands up for parental leave and other important hot-topic family matters would shift the policies of Facebook to be welcoming of anything that helps moms connect during the first—very important—few months of baby's life. Surely, if an ad helping women to own their own breast milk and feed their children is inappropriate, those Sports Illustrated models wearing only body paint should be held to the same standards?

Or maybe, Facebook, we should stop judging women's bodies as mechanisms of feeding children and sexual beings... and let them just be, well, bodies. Psst: if you're part of an organization who is interested in using these posters or stickers, contact Gross at mary@BooneOakley.com.

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