Facebook reportedly blocks ads for vaginal dryness while allowing those that treat erectile dysfunction

Facebook reportedly blocks ads for vaginal dryness while allowing those that treat erectile dysfunction

facebook ceo mark zuckerberg

  • Facebook is blocking ads for products promoting women's health products, CNBC reported.
  • The company appears to be treating ads for such products differently from those that promote men's health products, according to the report.
  • Facebook representatives said the company is reviewing the ads in question.

Facebook routinely blocks ads promoting women's health products, particularly those that treat symptoms of menopause, CNBC reported on Saturday.

The company has blocked most of the ads Seattle startup Pulse has tried to post on the social networking site over the last 18 months, according to the report. Other companies like Pulse that offer vaginal lubrication and related products have also found their ads blocked by Facebook, CNBC reported.

Their experience is in sharp contrast with companies that offer products that treat erectile dysfunction or other men's health issues, according to the report. Those companies are generally able to run their ads on Facebook without hindrance, according to the report.

"It has been a battle with Facebook," Pulse CEO Amy Buckalter told CNBC. "It has been basically gender bias ... And it's cost me money."


Facebook's advertising policies restrict ads that promote adult products and content due to the fact that people with widely varying cultural sensitivities use its services, a company representative told CNBC.

But, the representative added, "We continue to review these specific ads."

Representatives for Facebook and Pulse did not immediately respond to emails from Business Insider seeking comment.

This isn't the first time that Facebook has faced accusations of gender bias in its ad business. In September, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Communications Workers of America filed a complaint against Facebook with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charging that the company had illegally allowed advertisers to target job ads only at men.

A contemporaneous report in ProPublica detailed how Uber and 14 other companies were advertising jobs on Facebook to people of just one gender.


You can read the full CNBC report here.