Meningitis charity criticises Facebook advert ban

Meningitis rash advert Image copyright Meningitis Now
Image caption One of the banned adverts featured a glass being pressed against a rash

A meningitis charity has complained after an advert it described as "potentially life-saving" was banned by Facebook.

Meningitis Now wanted to post "awareness" adverts, with pictures of a child in a hospital bed and a glass pressed against a rash.

But Facebook banned them because the images used may have "shocked" people and "focussed on an ideal body image."

A spokesman said the social media site was investigating after the complaint.

Thomas Davis, from the Stroud-based charity, said the banning of planned adverts for its "Don't Wait for A Rash" campaign was "affecting its ability to communicate life-saving information during the peak season for meningitis".

Image copyright Meningitis Now
Image caption One of the proposed adverts was banned because it could "shock" people

He said: "One of the images banned was a glass being pressed against a rash.

"It contains nothing controversial - there's no nudity or promotion of an unhealthy body image and it has been already shared widely online.

"We rely on these kind of images to highlight just how dangerous meningitis is.

"Recent stories in the press... highlight how powerful these images are and the amount of awareness they can create."

He added the advertising campaign was designed to help people identify symptoms of the disease, and that the signs and symptoms of meningitis "can often be missed or mistaken for something else, such as flu or a hangover".

Facebook's advertising policy states that adverts that are "scary, gory or sensational" which may "shock", or adverts which use images that emphasize an "ideal" body are not allowed.

A spokesman said they were investigating the matter.

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