September 8, 2017

Suppressed... the first word of the bra ad that Facebook banned.

It's an excellent and amusing ad:



So what's the problem? The ad, by Berlei Australia, humorously displays the many annoyances of bras and offers a product that solves all the problems.

Facebook classifies the ad as offensive because of the "the pixilated nudity, overt focus on bouncing breasts and overly zoomed* images."

I'm just going to assume** the company meant to do that — violate the policy, raise a social media outcry, and get far more people to look at the ad then would have clicked on the paid-for placements within Facebook. That is, I assume I'm participating in a viral ad scheme, but it's worth blogging for me anyway because:

1. I like to expose Facebook's censorship, 2. I'm interested in advertising techniques (and long ago worked for an ad agency (J. Walter Thompson)), 3. I monitor the process of virality, 4. I think most of my readers will find the ad fun to watch and to talk about, and 5. I've long participated in the age-old struggle with bras.
_____________________

* Meade, reading this post out loud, said "overly bazoomed images."

** Meade read this as "I'm going to bazoom..."

76 comments:

Ignorance is Bliss said...

6. Boobs!

Ralph L said...

age-old struggle or old-age struggle?

gspencer said...

Bras and their removal have always interested me.

Ralph L said...

Ignorance, you were supposed to say "First! and Second!"

campy said...

Let's not take a closer look at those breasts.

Annie C said...

Their bras don't look any different than anything else out there so I suppose they needed the shock value and virality to sell them.

Rob said...

Seems like a tempest in a C-cup.

traditionalguy said...

And then there was that girl with the Playtex Living Bra who had nothing to feed it. (Warning: a 1950s Joke that will never get by Facebook's New Puritans who were all born in the 1990s.)

Laslo Spatula said...

Who is the audience for this ad?

"pixilated nudity, overt focus on bouncing breasts and overly zoomed* images" seems to imply that the target is men, because men are especially drawn to overly zoomed breasts.

But do men actually buy bras for women? Do women WANT men to attempt to buy their bras?

Lingerie saleswoman: "What size does she wear?"

Man: "Uh, she's about like this" he says, gesturing with cupped hands in front of his chest....

It would seem the audience would be for women -- those who actually use the product. But are women drawn to "pixilated nudity, overt focus on bouncing breasts and overly zoomed* images"?

Counterintuitively, I would say 'Yes' -- at least for some. Some women will relate with a sense of humor. Coincidentally, these women are generally considered 'hot' by men: men love women who are good-natured about their breasts...

How does an ad find these women? As Althouse states, the process of virality.

How do men find these women? By hanging around the lingerie store, looking for 'suppressed' women...

I am Laslo.

Ann Althouse said...

"Their bras don't look any different than anything else out there..."

I know. The message of the ad seems to be: Just wear a normal bra. It's an advertisement for just about every bra and against weird bras (and bra substitutes (notably, tape)).

exhelodrvr1 said...

Maybe the Facebook censorship is because of the pixilation - clearly Facebook is against being ashamed and afraid of the breast! (Interesting having this post after the one yesterday about pulping the breast book.)

Kate said...

Facebook, like Google, appears to have a problem hiring women. Because every woman, having done at least one of the boob adjustments in this ad, would find it amusing.

Sydney Ski said...

Who doesn't love Meade

Henry said...

The ad, by Berlei Australia, humorously displays the many annoyances of bras and offers a product that solves all the problems.

The product is a bra.

It is a big, spongy, strappy bra. It doesn't solve the off-the-shoulder dress problem at all.

Nancy said...

Sounds like Meade is OK with the textbook answer to "What are breasts for?"

Bob Boyd said...

Dat Muddafuggin' Zuckabug....he don't even like boobs fagawd sake!

glenn said...

I'm a leg man myself but what's wrong with this ad?

exhelodrvr1 said...

"Dat Muddafuggin' Zuckabug....he don't even like boobs fagawd sake!"

He voted for Hillary, didn't he?

gg6 said...

Ha, ha! ' Suppressed" is absolutely the perfect description of what Facebook did here! They suppressed speech and expression out of their twisted (irony alert!) self-impression of being the Nannie-In-Charge. And you are so right, Ms. Althouse, - it is a fabulous ad doing what fabulous ads are supposed to do: sell a product concept thru functional focus and empathetic 'attitude'. After a long Ad career - beginning at JWT - I'd give it a 10!

Bob Boyd said...

I wonder if it costs extra to have Facebook suppress an ad.

Bob Ellison said...

Not suppression, but repression.

Laslo Spatula said...

It seems the plan always is to be banned:

Top 5 Banned Bra Commercials - Best Banned Bra Ads

I like the anteater's dedication.

I am Laslo.

Infinite Monkeys said...

I don't like underwire bras but I liked the commercial.

JML said...

I'm at work so I haven't yet watched the ad - some things are breast left unseen, so I don't know if the ad is stimulating because it is titillating or informative because it bares the truth about boob suppression.

Seriously, this girl I dated in college could remove her bra without taking off her blouse. I suppose most women can but I was impressed, especially when she did it the first time in my car on the way home... it was a promise of things to come.

Laslo Spatula said...

There is no bra that can replace the fit of a man's hands.

I am Laslo.

Saint Croix said...

Awesome ad!

Facebook sucks.

Saint Croix said...

Yet another reason not to vote for Mark Zuckerberg.

rhhardin said...

Pixelating is pretense.

The response ought to be pixelating noses.

Big Mike said...

Zuckerberg doesn't like women's breasts?

Saint Croix said...

Also somebody please watch Pushover and report back to the Althouse blog on whether Kim Novak is wearing a bra or going free bird.

I say, free bird.

holdfast said...

Hooray For Boobies.

-The Bloodhoung Gang.

holdfast said...

"Zuckerberg doesn't like women's breasts?"

He did marry a small-breasted Asian girl.

Saint Croix said...

Imagine Zuckerberg's campaign slogan if he was running for Iranian theocrat.

"No ankles! Nobody will see ankles! And forget seeking cheekbones too!"

Freeman Hunt said...

There's nothing wrong with that ad. I like it.

"The message of the ad seems to be: Just wear a normal bra. It's an advertisement for just about every bra and against weird bras (and bra substitutes (notably, tape))."

Indeed.

Laslo Spatula said...

I briefly dated a self-proclaimed witch in my college days.

She taught me the secret to giving women Breast Orgasms.

It is good to be Laslo.

I am Laslo.

Howard said...

This scintillating titillating post is a necessary evil designed to keep the traffic flow to the Amazon Porthole up now that Trump has decided (because he's the decider) to stop running towards the cliff just as his teabagging racist base hurtles themselves over the edge onto the pyre of burning confederate generals.

Does Trump's courtship with Chuck Schumer make him the first Trans-President?

Ann Althouse said...

"Lingerie saleswoman: "What size does she wear?" Man: "Uh, she's about like this" he says, gesturing with cupped hands in front of his chest...."

That sounds like an old Redd Foxx routine I heard on a record once. Somehow my parents had that record and played it one night after I'd supposedly gone to sleep. It was more than 50 years ago.

I remember the punchline: "Fried eggs."

Ann Althouse said...

"Seriously, this girl I dated in college could remove her bra without taking off her blouse. I suppose most women can but I was impressed, especially when she did it the first time in my car on the way home... it was a promise of things to come."

I know that rose is your rose,* but all women can do that.

________________

*“But my rose, all on her own, is more important than all of you together, since she's the one I've watered. Since she's the one I put under glass, since she's the one I sheltered behind the screen. Since she's the one for whom I killed the caterpillars (except the two or three butterflies). Since she's the one I listened to when she complained, or when she boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing at all. Since she's my rose.”

Saint Croix said...

That sounds like an old Redd Foxx routine I heard on a record once. Somehow my parents had that record and played it one night after I'd supposedly gone to sleep. It was more than 50 years ago.

I remember the punchline: "Fried eggs."


So I'm googling Redd Foxx and fried eggs and I find

Moms Mabley

Funny!

David Begley said...

Althouse @7:55

It is the new, new thing and it is improved. Allegedly. At least for those in the target market.

Marketing 101.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I liked the ad as well, Freeman. There was nothing wrong with it and if you guys find it (ahem) titillating, well good! you are normal.

It was humorous and pretty much spot on with the discomfort of most bras. The product shown looks like a relatively normal bra and one that could be comfortable for everyday use. Bras like shoes have to be tried on before purchase to determine if they will fit properly.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Lingerie saleswoman: "What size does she wear?" Man: "Uh, she's about like this" he says, gesturing with cupped hands in front of his chest...."

LOL. That reminds me of when my husband and I were first married and he wanted to buy me some fancy lingerie for Christmas. Went to Macys or Victoria Secret or something and bought what actually fit and was quite pretty. It was very romantic and a miracle that it fit.

I imagine his experience went something like that. Knowing how much he really hates shopping (as do I) and that he was probably embarrassed beyond belief, it made the gesture even more appreciated. I bet he was very cute in the store trying to buy fancy lingerie for his new wife.

exiledonmainstreet said...


Laslo Spatula said...
There is no bra that can replace the fit of a man's hands."

It's really quite inconvenient to try to get around town with a man walking behind you holding your boobs up though - especially when you're driving. Never worked for me.

As far as being "suppressed," I was a suppressed woman once. I bought a sports bra that was a size too small. It was like having a rubber band around your chest. I couldn't wait to get that sucker off.


tcrosse said...

Many years ago I dated a women who wore bras which fastened in front with a Quick-Release™ clasp. This seemed a perfectly rational piece of engineering, once she showed me how it worked (I had been fumbling around the back looking for the hooks that weren't there). She could also take it off without removing her blouse, which she told me all girls learn in High School. We eventually married, but it ended in tears.

Michael said...

It's cute. I wouldn't put it on television, but on-line, where people choose to watch the ad and can stop it at any time, why not?

JML said...


Some of you are raining on my parade: all women can do it....learned it in high school...prickly rose indeed!

I may go motor boarding with my wife to ease my sorrows....

reader said...

exiledomainstreet said

"As far as being "suppressed," I was a suppressed woman once. I bought a sports bra that was a size too small. It was like having a rubber band around your chest. I couldn't wait to get that sucker off.
I thought it was funny and it got me to check out their website."

And when you find one that fits you have to be a contortionist to get the darn thing off. My husband thinks it's hysterical.

I thought the ad was funny.

Kirk Parker said...

Re 3: better to monitor the process of virility.

Bob Boyd said...

I went out with a woman one time. She took off in a motor boat without removing her blouse.

JML said...

Bob, she sounds like a real boob.

lgv said...

Back in the early 80's while working for a male dominated high tech electronics company, we were walking to the cafeteria. A buxom lady walked by. One of the more senior guys then nonchalantly states "3 hermies". I had no idea what he was talking about.

Years later, while working in another industry, we were considering doing a mouthwash. It was only then that the unit of measure "herm" came to light. Apparently in olden days it represented a unit of volume equal to one mouthful. I finally realized what the guy was talking about back in the 80's, although I had an idea.

This could be a completely new bra sizing system guaranteed to draw attention to your bra line.

BTW, the ad is very effective and it is ridiculous how inconsistent and arbitrary FB and other social media censorship has become.

Ann Althouse said...

"So I'm googling Redd Foxx and fried eggs and I find. Moms Mabley. Funny!"

That's the joke. I don't know who stole it from whom or if there's some earlier comedian that they both stole it from.

rhhardin said...

Stick out your chest like you owned a Nash.

- Billboard ad from the 50s not using women

n.n said...

Breasts! What are they good for? Feeding, titillating, and fomenting a feminist paradox.

Birches said...

I feel sorry for all of you buxom women. Bra shopping isn't nearly as hard for me.

Mountain Maven said...

That got the blood flowing!

Mountain Maven said...

Facebook, shackled by the neo Puritan left. Who else would bother complaining?

YoungHegelian said...

That's an ad for women, & pretty clearly done by women.

It's not about "titillation", it's about the vagaries of having breasts, especially large-ish ones.

I can't believe FB banned that ad. But, then again, considering the rampant stupidity coming out of Silicon Valley Rev. 2.0, I really shouldn't be. There has always been a strain of sexual puritanism on the Left. It's just coming to the fore again.

Etienne said...

I just shrug, and tell women that it's lucky they aren't a cat or a dog. They have no sympathy for your mere binary problem. Octal tits is not all its cracked-up to be.

tim in vermont said...

Thanks for running that, glad I'm not gay, I guess these days one has to check from time to time.

tim in vermont said...

"Zuckerberg doesn't like women's breasts?"

He did marry a small-breasted Asian girl.


Small breasts are breasts too, and they have many fans as breasts, not as a lack thereof.

walter said...

Blogger Laslo Spatula said...I briefly dated a self-proclaimed witch in my college days. She taught me the secret to giving women Breast Orgasms.
--
Must have been some sort of witchcraft since we all know boobs are only asexual, utilitarian protest punctuating male equivalent parts.

n.n said...

Titillation is a reference to an earlier controversy, which combined with the current controversy has demonstrated the feminist paradox in sharp relief.

To burn the bras, or not to burn the bras, that is the feminist paradox.

n.n said...

re: to burn the bras

Well, that, and... To abort her baby and have her too.

Speaking of abortion, Cecile of Planned Parenthood is not pro-life, she is not pro-choice, she is pro-person. The quasi-legal distinction -- pulled from the twilight fringe -- avoids the inconvenient scientific truth of human evolution.

Tom_Ohio said...

You picked a good one, and better be on your best bazoomed behavior for Meade tonight, or as the kids say, you go girl

TML said...

As an advertising professional (Creative Director. validate at lemmonhughes.com and tk.team) this is a very well done commercial. I hate, literally, 97% of all ads I see. They're boring, weak, facile, embarrassing, insulting, idiotic nonsense. I enjoyed the energy and simplicity of this ad. And I'll never buy a bra. Well done.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

It's a great ad, and not the least in bad taste. A number of my FB friends have reported recently doing stints in Facebook jail, for innocuous, if politically incorrect, comments. I'm in the process of ditching Facebook in favor of Seen.life. Only trouble is, nobody I know is over there yet, but that will change if I have anything to say about it.

Darrell said...

Now that this blog comes out of the UK (althouse.blogspot.co.uk,) we should be using the proper terms for female breasts--bristols and chebs.

SweatBee said...

"Their bras don't look any different than anything else out there"

Actually, I found myself intrigued with the design of the gore. It looks like it might be two pieces instead of one, which is interesting to me because the best-fitting bra I ever owned (in other words, the gore actually tacked properly) had an elastic gore and I wonder if this brand's offering might function the same way.

Jupiter said...

"I've long participated in the age-old struggle with bras."

Age-old? Dolly Madison never struggled with a bra.

It was Dolly Madison who said "Beauty is only skin deep - if you're lucky."

Jupiter said...

And I would say Kim Novak is loose as a goose.

tcrosse said...

It was Dolly Madison who said "Beauty is only skin deep - if you're lucky."

BTW it was Redd Foxx who said that beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.

Fabi said...

"It's really quite inconvenient to try to get around town with a man walking behind you holding your boobs up though - especially when you're driving. Never worked for me."

Very late to this thread -- and waiting for my small breasted (30A) girlfriend to get back in town -- but that comment has me tickled. I will share it with her asap.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Neat. Do one for boxer briefs & testicles next. Virality!

lucy white said...


Fight The Victoria's Secret Industrial Complex!

"Tight clothing inhibits the proper functioning of the lymphatic system (an internal network of vessels and nodes that flushes wastes from the body) and leads to a buildup of carcinogenic compounds in the constricted areas."

—Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras: http://amzn.to/2jc5URE

urbane legend said...

Tyrone Slothrop said...
It's a great ad, and not the least in bad taste.

I agree. Should make you smile.