Facebook claims NZ Period Underwear ad was banned for “shocking, sensational content” for showing real menstrual blood

scandal 13/10/2021

After Facebook rejected a paid advertisement featuring real period blood, the creators of NZ period underwear brand AWWA claim they are appealing to the social media giant to "normalise the conversation around periods."

However, Facebook is countering the claims, claiming that the ad is allowed to run in its full form across its AWWA’s social platforms, but "tight standards" mean it is only available in a cut-down form in Facebook’s commercial sector.

We can speak for every woman here and say PERIODS ARE A NORMAL PART OF LIFE!

Menstruation is a very normal function of the female body and for years women have faced shame and taboos for something that half the population experience.

The advert shows two women menstruating in sync. One of the women using AWWA’s reusable period underwear and the other using single-use products. In clips of both women real blood is seen streaming down the shower drain, on pads going into the bin, and being rung out of underwear into the sink.

​​The company owned by Michele Wilson and Kylie Matthews said in a statement "The honest portrayal reveals the emotions and normalities experienced during menstruation, including real blood.” 

"The aim of AWWA's campaign was to remove the stigma and taboos from what is a perfectly normal bodily function that half the population experience," Michele said

"It wasn't meant to be deliberately shocking or sensational but to show the realities that many of us face on a monthly basis. 

"We are passionate about removing the shame and secrecy around menstruation, and instead celebrate periods as our Māori Tunpuna (ancestors) would."

Antonia Sanda, Head of Communications at Facebook New Zealand told Newshub,

"Encouraging open discussion about the issues that women face is important to me personally and to our values at Facebook."

"We know these issues are complicated, and our team has been working closely with AWWA to advise how to run this campaign on our platforms.”

Following the posting of the video on AWWA’s social media, an outpour of positive comments was shared in support of showing the reality of the menstrual cycle.

One commenter wrote “I love this! It’s an accurate representation of people who menstruate rather than the crappy ads they normally throw at us. Love your mahi! Please keep at it”

Another wrote “I love your ad, I was so happy to see something real like this and I am so proud of you all for sharing. I could relate to this ad so much, and I am going to get me some Awwa because of it.”

It’s clear many women are in support of the video and so are we!

BRB on our way to buy some new undies ;)