A series of Facebook ads in Canada are giving readers a rare peek into how advertising firms are trying to reach women.
Some of the ads feature images of scantily clad women and offer tips on how to spot a sexist advertisement.
Others are full of ads that are simply aimed at women who are looking to buy.
(CBC)In the case of one of the latest ads, a man appears to be selling a bikini, but a woman can be seen in the background, reading “What is this bikini?” in the first sentence.
Facebook’s ad review tool allows readers to easily identify the ads.
“These ads were purchased with a Facebook ad,” said Facebook’s senior vice-president for product marketing, Adam Mosseri, in a statement to CBC News.
“We know there’s a lot of pressure on advertisers to reach more women and we’re committed to improving the way advertisers do this.”
He also noted that the ads were created by a Canadian company called Salam Advertising.
Salam, which also runs the Salam, says it’s “uniquely positioned” to reach men.
“When we were looking for ways to reach our target audience, we saw a lot more women who wanted to get involved,” said Mosseri.
Salam, whose advertising slogan is “We believe in the power of the power woman,” says it began by working with women’s groups in Canada and in the United States.
“It’s a way for people to reach out to women,” said Melissa Kneebone, the company’s head of women and sexuality.
Kneebon told CBC News that Facebook was “very supportive” of the project and “has done a great job in supporting us in making the ads.”
Salam says its ads are “part of our ongoing effort to build an open, diverse and inclusive online community” that is free from gender-based bias and harassment.
But its ads, which have been featured in the Toronto Star, the Vancouver Sun and the Edmonton Journal, have been flagged as “sexist” and “stigmatizing” by Facebook.
“We want to be clear that we’re not trying to target anyone,” said Kneewone.
“That’s not what we’re trying to do.
We’re trying and reaching out to our target audiences, which are women.”‘
We have a problem with sexism’Mosseri said Facebook had already started taking action against the ads, but that Salam had “taken steps to improve their processes and make it harder for advertisers to abuse them.”
“As we said, we want to reach all women, but we also want to make sure that advertisers do not use this to target women,” he said.
“Our focus is on making sure that we do not allow the type of discrimination that we’ve seen in this ad.”
Salame Advertising said in a blog post that the campaign has been flagged by Facebook as being “a violation of our advertising guidelines and our policies” and has been removed.
“This was not our intent.
We have a big problem with the type and content of these ads, and we are working to ensure that we continue to have a zero tolerance approach to any and all forms of discrimination,” said the company in a post on its blog.”
In response to this, we have removed the campaign and are actively investigating this ad and will take any steps necessary to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”
The Salam Advertising campaign, which was featured in The Toronto Star on Thursday, is also part of Facebook’s new “Find the Good Ads” initiative, which aims to identify and remove sexist and discriminatory ads.
Facebook is now rolling out the “Find Good Ads,” a new feature that allows advertisers to review ads they’ve flagged as sexist, racist or otherwise objectionable.
“Find good ads” can be found at the bottom of your news feed.
The ads featured in CBC’s story, which appeared on Thursday evening, are in line with the Find Good Ads approach.
In the Toronto Sun’s story published Wednesday, a Facebook user identified in the ad as a “male feminist” flagged the ad for gender bias.
In an ad in the Vancouver Herald on Thursday morning, a woman in a bikini is identified as a feminist.
“It’s great that we are able to make this information public now,” said Amanda MacKay, director of research for Women on Boards Canada, which represents women in Canada.
“But there’s still a lot to do to make women feel comfortable on the Internet and in their communities.”