Meningitis Now’s “Don’t wait for a rash” campaign has been banned by Facebook, a popular social networking website. The ban stems from Facebook’s perception that the imagery used in the campaign of a glass being pressed against a rash, would be seen as negative.
Facebook say that their advertising guidelines state that you aren’t allowed to promote a health product by focusing on ideal body imagery.
The campaign aims to educate the general public on the signs and symptoms of meningitis. A common misconception is that a rash always appears with meningitis, which is not always the case. Importantly if a rash does appear, it is a sign of blood poisoning and is often one of the last symptoms to emerge. The campaign stresses not to delay in getting medical help if there is any suspicion of meningitis, regardless of whether a rash is present. It is difficult to see how the campaign can be perceived as being contrary to the Facebook’s advertising guidelines.
It is critical that this important message reaches as many people as possible and Facebook’s approach is difficult to understand.
Meningitis Now are hopeful they can work with Facebook to run the campaign in an alternative way to ensure this important message reaches as many people as possible and hopefully saves lives.