Calling Out Gender Bias: Advertising Coalition Demands Meta Address Bias in Women’s Health Ad Review Process

LevLane Advertising

PHILADELPHIA, PA — A united call to action on gender bias in digital advertising came to light today, in an open letter to Mr. Mark Zuckerberg and Meta’s executive team. The letter was crafted by LevLane Advertising, a group of notable advertising executives, marketing gurus and stalwart women’s health advocates.

This collective action highlights the pressing issue of inclusivity and patient-oriented education on Meta’s platforms. According to the Center for Intimacy Justice (CIJ), an organization dedicated to investigating bias in advertising review processes, there exists a stark delineation in the treatment of ads related to women’s and men’s sexual health. The letter not only puts a spotlight on the problem, but also suggests constructive steps for a more equitable advertising landscape.

The coalition stresses in their letter, “The Center for Intimacy Justice (CIJ) has been at the forefront of identifying the biases present in the advertising review processes on platforms such as yours — the efforts of which we are sure you are already aware.”

The CIJ has spent significant time and effort to get to this point. Their research has actively brought biases to light and has amplified the coalition’s plea to Meta to address the discrepancies in ad review standards for women’s and men’s health.

The letter further states, “In healthcare marketing and medical affairs education, clear communication can be the difference between safety and harm.” To support this, the coalition champions the use of precise medical terms to help women better comprehend their bodies, options, and health. Unfortunately, advertisements promoting women’s health products are regularly rejected, whereas ads targeting men’s health are routinely approved.

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The narrative of women’s health being a topic of shame or requiring concealment is harmful and regressive. The coalition asserts, “Our message is clear: Women’s health is not obscene.” The differential treatment of women’s and men’s health-based ads suggests a bias that Meta must explore and correct.

The group outlines critical first steps Meta could take to resolve the problematic practices. This includes scrutinizing the existence of “algorithmic bias” in the ad review process, dedicating resources, and setting up an independent oversight committee with women’s health advocates. Moreover, the group urges Meta to engage regularly with stakeholders to enhance advertising policies and review mechanisms.

The coalition reinforces that these measures align with Meta’s proclaimed commitment to supporting diverse communities and cultivating an inclusive digital environment.

The letter concludes with a call to action, “This could be a turning point — a moment to enable growth, learning and unity in our collective approach to women’s health for Meta. It is within your ability to make this a reality.”

The ball is now in Meta’s court, and quite literally, the fate of millions of users who rely on the platform for health information. As it stands, the hopes of a more progressive, inclusive, and equitable advertising landscape for women’s health rests with Meta’s response to this significant call for change.

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