The designers behind an up and coming lingerie label, A Summer of Love, have been left "shocked" and "disappointed" after their Facebook ad campaign was pulled for being "too sexual" and showing "excessive amounts of skin".
The women behind the brand, 27-year-old Yasmine Staub and her best friend 37-year-old Lauren Carter, claimed to have submitted their ad to Facebook using images which they believed were not of a sexual nature, but simply "showed off their beach-inspired brand by celebrating femininity with lace and flowers".
"We had been putting the brand together for 6 months, and planned to use Facebook as a big part of our launch," Ms Staub, who was born in Perth but currently living in Los Angeles, told news.com.au.
"The ad originally went up as part of the verification process, but then we were notified by Facebook that it had been pulled down because it was too sexually explicit."
The women, who have both modelled previously and are featured in the photographs, said the fact their images were deemed "too sexual" compared to other content that is available on Facebook left them feeling disappointed and outraged.
"It's such an outdated attitude, and reinforces all the negative stigma surrounding women's bodies," Ms Staub said.
"[Banning our ad] shames women who are confident and proud of being a woman. Ultimately, we felt it was slut shaming."
The exchange between Ms Staub and Facebook suggested the women recreate their ad if they wish to boost their post in the future, and ultimately generate more people to their site.
"Your ad was disapproved because the image being used in the ad shows excessive skin," the Facebook message, which was sent to Ms Staub, read.
"Ads with a sexual undertone are not allowed. This applies even if your underlying product is represented by image (ex: lingerie, condoms, sexual health books)."
After following up with an enquiry about which image had in fact breached Facebook's policy of "avoiding images that are overly sexual", Ms Staub said she never received a response from Facebook - and instead had their enquiry and conversation closed by the social media site.
News.com.au contacted Facebook Australia, who said if the women removed the image of Ms Carter in the white bralette where her nipple can be seen, there "shouldn't" be an issue with their ad.
"One of the images is clearly against our Community Standards and Advertising Policies," a spokesperson said.
"If they omit that image, then their advert should be good to go."
According to Facebook's terms and conditions, "images may not be overly sexual, imply nudity, show excessive amounts of skin or cleavage, or focus unnecessarily on body parts - even if portrayed for artistic or educational reasons."
Facebook Adverts allow people to create targeted adverts to reach different audiences and meet business goals. With more than 1.4 billion people using Facebook to connect with people right around the world, an advert can be tailored to a select audience, location, age and interest.
The appeal of creating an advert for a small business, such as Ms Staub and Ms Carter's lingerie brand, means they were hoping to get more people visiting their newly established Facebook page and website.
While the girls are still allowed to keep the images on the brands actual Facebook page, they are not allowed to use them as part of an advert.
The business owners claim they are yet to formally hear from Facebook about which image is breaching the advertising standards, and admitted the platform will be difficult to use when trying to advertise their brand in the future.
"Almost every other business can use Facebook to sell their products - lingerie should not be exempt from using this platform just because there are some people are offended by women's bodies," Ms Carter said.
"We definitely plan on trying [to use Facebook adverts again]. But we are wary something totally compliant with the rules might get taken down, simply because we feature women in lingerie in our ads. It's a core part of our fashion line."
Just last month, Bras and Things pulled an ad campaign from their stores which featured Australia's Next Top Model contestant Simone Holtznagel, after it was described as "amateur porn" by shoppers who were offended by the commercial.
The campaign, which resembles a Playboy ad, featured close ups of Ms Holtznagel's body wearing the lingerie, posing in a series of sexual positions and flaunting the latest line of lingerie.
Ms Staub and Ms Carter said it has become insulting how some people view lingerie campaigns, and that it made them feel that "being a woman with a body is a problem".
"How dare we be made ashamed and sexualised when our intent was to celebrate femininity and self confidence," Ms Carter said.
"Simone looks absolutely gorgeous, She looks beautiful and tasteful. There is absolutely nothing in this ad that offends me.
"As a woman I am inspired by the way she presents herself. The shoot is nothing but beautiful and inspirational!"
What angered the girls most about the decision towards their ad is the fact other pages are able to exist on the social media site, such as Blokes Advice - which was shut down recently following negative media attention.
While majority of the posts made in the group were men sharing pictures of cars, barbecues, man cave setups and home bars, some members would entertain each other with graphic descriptions of rape, revenge porn and violence against women.
"Having our ad taken down was a big blow, and something that shocked us," Ms Staub said.
"We are subjected to violence all over the internet. But it seems an image of a woman projecting confidence and self worth creates more outrage than the violence.
"What is so offensive to me personally is that A Summer of Love is a brand made for women by women. Our brand is about celebrating femininity and confidence."