British breastfeeding clothing firm hit by Facebook's no-nudity rule

British breastfeeding clothing firm has lost thousands after being hit by Facebook’s no-nudity rule

  • A British firm selling clothes that make breastfeeding easier has lost thousands
  • Bshirt’s Facebook adverts were banned for breaching adult content policies
  • The Devonshire business created adverts that do not not feature explicit content

A British firm selling clothes that make breastfeeding easier has lost thousands after its Facebook adverts were banned for breaching adult content policies – despite not featuring anything explicit.

Bshirt, based in Totnes, Devon, designs vests, shirts and dresses that give women quick access to their breasts for when they need to feed their baby.

Like many modern small businesses, many of Bshirt’s sales are generated by exposure on the social media site. But last month, the firm, which was founded by two mothers in 2017, had half its revenue stream cut off when Meta, Facebook’s parent company, pulled its adverts for supposedly featuring adult content.

Lisa Lessware, Bshirt’s co-founder, told The Mail on Sunday they had missed out on £15,000 worth in sales.

A British firm selling clothes that make breastfeeding easier has lost thousands after its Facebook adverts were banned for breaching adult content policies – despite not featuring anything explicit

She said: ‘We’ve been existing online for six years doing really well. So to have that turned off overnight was devastating.

‘We’re utterly beholden to these social media giants and they don’t give a toss if they are making lives miserable or not.’

Mrs Lessware said that Facebook’s automatic systems had sometimes flagged their adverts in the past as potentially containing adult content, which is banned on the site.

‘But we could always request a human to review it,’ she added, ‘and they would always say they are absolutely fine. Yet this time they said the decision was correct and that we were permanently banned.’

Bshirt’s owners, who spend £5,000 a month on online adverts, claimed they found it impossible to speak to anyone at Meta about the decision, and ended up paying £500 to a US-based firm called Admission which specialises in unblocking Facebook adverts.

‘But not every company would be able to do that,’ said Mrs Lessware. ‘You should be able to have these decisions reviewed without having to pay magic consultants.’

Facebook eventually unblocked Bshirt’s adverts last week, which has seen sales return to normal levels.

Mrs Lessware added: ‘We don’t have the reserves to survive another ban. We’re a small brand and we need to pay wages and our suppliers.’

Mrs Lessware said that Facebook’s automatic systems had sometimes flagged their adverts in the past as potentially containing adult content, which is banned on the site

Jackie Rotman, founder of the Centre For Intimacy Justice which campaigns for advertising policies on tech platforms to be more open to women’s issues, said: ‘In a study on businesses working in areas such as menopause, fertility, endometriosis and pregnancy, 100 per cent of them experienced adverts being rejected on Meta platforms.’

Last night a spokesman for Meta said: ‘Ads are governed by a stricter set of policies because they receive paid distribution to appear in people’s feeds.

‘A number of ads were removed in error. We apologise for this mistake and are working to improve our systems.’

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