Ben Bold
Mar 10, 2020

Facebook bans ads for face masks and items that exploit coronavirus fears

Social network joins eBay and Amazon in ban.

Facebook bans ads for face masks and items that exploit coronavirus fears

Facebook has issued a moratorium on ads for medical face masks and other products claiming to prevent people from contracting coronavirus, deeming such listings as exploiting the public-health emergency.

The ban, which will be rolled out in the next few days, covers ads on Facebook and listings on the Marketplace platform, where they are already prohibited. The news comes the week after the Advertising Standards Authority banned two ads promoting face masks that it said were "misleading, irresponsible and likely to cause fear".

A spokesperson for Facebook said that it was monitoring the situation closely and would "make necessary updates to our policies if we see people trying to exploit this public-health emergency for their own benefit".

Facebook said that it was also stopping ads for other medical products, such as hand sanitiser, that "create a sense of urgency, like implying a limited supply, or guaranteeing a cure or prevention around" the virus.

The company added that it had a dedicated channel for local governments to share listings they believe violate these policies and is encouraging users to report offending ads. Facebook said that it would also remove coronavirus-related Facebook groups and pages from recommendations.

Medical experts have dismissed the efficacy of face masks and instead called for people to be aware of their personal hygiene: washing their hands regularly and sneezing or coughing into a handkerchief or tissue. Other digital giants, including eBay and Amazon, have also banned ads for face masks.

Rob Leathern, who leads Facebook’s trust and integrity team covering advertising, tweeted an update over the weekend:

Last week, Facebook announced the closure of its London offices after an employee contracted the virus. The offices reopened today.

Source:
Campaign UK

Related Articles

Just Published

2 days ago

Purpose, laughs, and boppable tunes: Spikes jury ...

SPIKES ASIA X CAMPAIGN: Presidents and members of several Spikes Asia juries share the top trends they spotted in the jury Zoom rooms, with video examples.

2 days ago

Crash Course: How to tell engaging short-form stories

To round off a week of creativity-themed content during Spikes Asia X Campaign festival, this Crash Course provides useful tips on how to build story arcs and create thumb-stopping campaigns for short-form.

2 days ago

Lessons from Tesla, Apple and yoga (yes, yoga) in ...

SPIKES ASIA X CAMPAIGN: Creatives need to drive relevance for sustainable options, instead of virtue-signalling about sustainability, argues Gulshan Singh of FCB Interface.

2 days ago

Spikes Asia Awards 2021: Campaign's contenders 3

As the juries make their final selections ahead of the March 1 winners announcement, Campaign Asia-Pacific's editorial team has once again scoured through the 2021 shortlist to pick out the work we expect to win.