Sweden-based TriArt Film was hoping to use Facebook to publicise the Greek film Attenberg, currently showing in Swedish cinemas.
But, much to the distributor’s surprise, Facebook nixed the campaign.
“Our ad for Attenberg, using the poster image of two women touch tongues, has been DISAPPROVED,” TriArt said in a statement on its own Facebook page.
TriArt went on to suggest that Facebook appears to have a double standard when it comes to who can be seen locking lips in advertisements running on the site, explaining that their ad for the film Tre, featuring a male-female couple engaged in a deep kiss, was approved.
“We’re confused,” TriArt CEO Eva Esseen Arndorff said in a statement.
“Facebook is certainly a private company, but for many it stands for freedom of speech and expression. We’re wonder what criteria are used when they decide not to approve the Attenberg picture.”
While Facebook refused to allow TriArt to use the picture in its PR campaign, the company was allowed to maintain the image it its Facebook profile page.
The head of public relations for Facebook in Sweden, Jan Fredriksson, insisted the site had no specific rules prohibiting images of people kissing, irrespective of their gender.
However, rules do exist regarding images of a sexual nature.
“If the picture has been removed because there are two women kissing each other, then a mistake has been made. But there may be other reasons as to why the image was removed,” Fredriksson told Sveriges Radio (SR).
“It may have been put up in the wrong way.”
The critically acclaimed Attenberg, which depicts 23-year-old Mariana and her coming of age struggles in a Greek industrial town, received generally positive reviews from Swedish critics ahead, being called “a beautiful overall experience” by Hynek Pallas of the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper.