'Really disappointing': NZ period underwear producer AWWA slams Facebook's removal of Modibodi's ad

The founder of a local period underwear brand is rethinking their own advertising after Facebook removed a video from an Australian supplier due to its "offensive" depiction of menstrual blood. 

Aussie period underwear brand Modibodi's latest advertising video entitled 'The New Way to Period' was removed from Facebook this week, with the social media giant saying it broke the rules. 

The ad - which is still up on the brand's YouTube and Instagram pages - shows the realities of periods for many people, including bins filled with sanitary products, blood-stained sheets and a pair of underwear being wrung out in the shower. 

According to Facebook, it was removed for breaching the guidelines of prohibited content, specifically 'sensational content'. 

"Ads must not contain shocking, sensational, inflammatory or excessively violent content," the guidelines read on Facebook's Advertising Policies page. 

The decision came as a shock to Modibodi's CEO Kristy Chong, who said in a statement it was an "outdated and disappointing" decision. 

There are several varieties of period underwear now available, including New Zealand brand AWWA. 

AWWA's founder Michele Wilson is supporting her overseas competitor, calling Facebook's decision "really shitty" and saying it points to the reasoning behind outdated advertising campaigns. 

"We see now why in the '80s they had to use blue liquid in advertising campaigns," she told Newshub. "We thought it was the old advertising heads having their say -  but we thought we had come so far since then!

"I saw the ad and thought it was really cool."

Wilson says it will impact how AWWA advertises their own product. 

"We were working on our own advertising campaign showing menstrual blood, but you know, we're a small business and we rely on Facebook for advertising and sales so our team is going to have to come together and rethink," she said. "It's really shitty." 

"I know Facebook is cracking down with their bots thanks to the (US) election and COVID-19 so I can only assume it was a bot that reported it and not an actual person  - we're going to have to be a lot more cautious and wait it out, unfortunately." 

The 60-second Modibodi ad is being praised on Instagram for showing a "refreshingly real" portrayal of that time of the month. 

"Only took until 2020 for periods to be normalised in an ad!" one person wrote. 

"I love the Modibodi brand not only for the wonderful period underwear products but also for the diversity and inclusiveness of everything you do," praised another. 

"Fantastic campaign," applauded another. 

According to PopSugar, the ad also remains on free-to-air television in Australia.