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Facebook Bans Breast Cancer Ad For Violating Nudity Policy

Facebook has come under fire after an advertising campaign raising awareness for Breast Cancer was banned from the platform.

The Pink Bun Campaign, launched on Thursday by the Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) and Baker's Delight, aims to raise awareness around the illness.

The ads feature 10 topless Breast Cancer survivors standing with pink buns or bread rolls over their nipples or mastectomy scars.

The BCNA has slammed Facebook's decision to ban the ads, calling it "nonsensical" in light of other violent images and events being broadcast live on the platform in recent months.

Breast Cancer Campaign
Images like this have been banned from Facebook. Image: Breast Cancer Network Australia.

“Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) is very disappointed that Facebook has today banned images of brave breast cancer survivors who show their scars and mastectomies as part of our national Pink Bun campaign," Breast Cancer Network Australia CEO Kirsten Pilatti said.

"Despite previously approving the tasteful pictures, Facebook has now stated that the images are in violation of its partial nudity policy. This nonsensical decision will hamper BCNA’s efforts to provide ongoing support to the more than 19,000 Australians diagnosed with breast cancer this year alone and requires urgent review.”

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But Facebook says it does want to run the advisements and that they've been working with the BCNA and Baker's Delight for weeks to make that happen.

Breast Cancer Campaign

"We have been working with the advertiser to advise them how we can run these ads and are disappointed that they have not taken our guidance ... I love these ads and our team has been working hard with Bakers Delight to allow them to run on our platforms," Facebook's Head of Communications for Australia and New Zealand Antonia Sanda said.

Sanda said the lack of educational message on the images, not the nudity, was the reason for the ads being pulled.

"We recognise the importance of ads about breast cancer education or teaching women how to examine their breasts and we allow these on our platforms. However, these specific ads do not contain any of these messages, rather it is a brand selling a product," she said.

Breast Cancer Campaign
Images like this have been banned from Facebook. Image: Breast Cancer Network Australia.

Requiring an educational message is part of how Facebook ensures its advertising is appropriate for the entire online community.

10 daily understands if BCNA and Baker's Delight amend their current images to include a breast-checking message or facts about Breast Cancer (for example), Facebook will re-consider running the ads.

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Breast Cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Australian women. In 2019, approximately 19,535 Australians will be diagnosed with breast cancer. This number includes 164 men.

Approximately 3,090 Australians will die from breast cancer in 2019. That's an average of eight people every day.

Contact Siobhan at skenna@networkten.com.au