Twitter Amends Sexual Health Ad Policy

Lila Gray

LOS ANGELES — Twitter, which has habitually blocked ad campaigns concerning condoms and sexual health campaigns, has tweaked the rules in favor of the companies it had been shutting out.

Condom retailer Lucky Bloke announced that it had its advertising ban lifted on Monday after nine months of complaints and a spirited public campaign, #Tweet4Condoms, directed at changing the policy.

Lucky Bloke CEO Melissa Hill says that Twitter has modified their ad policies and removed condoms and contraceptives from the "adult products" category, reclassifying them as "health products."

“For the many of you who championed our #Tweet4Condoms campaign, I want to thank you sincerely for lending your voice and support,” Hill said after learning of the change. “It is exciting to see that, united, we can make a positive difference even when standing up to a tech giant.”

A Twitter spokesperson confirmed the news, telling RH Reality Check that “Ads for non-prescription contraceptive products such as condoms and spermicides, and ads for personal lubricants, now fall under our health and pharmaceutical products and services policy.”

The spokesperson said that the change to the company’s ad policy for adult or sexual products and services was launched in mid-January.

According to RH Reality Check, the new policy also clarifies some confusing language that seemed to ban ads for “contraceptives” while still allowing some ads for condoms.

The policy now lists birth control pills and emergency contraception as “restricted,” or subject to review by Twitter, as it does with all other pharmaceutical products.

Despite the progressive stride, the policy still prohibits “sexual content” in ads or linked material for sexual health awareness or condoms. Companies find this is one of the most difficult caveats to maneuver.         

White is encouraged by Twitter’s willingness to evolve, and believes that this initial step could be a harbinger of additional, much-needed change — to amend antiquated thoughts on sexuality — across all social media channels.