The TV spot promotes self-exams.
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The nipple has been freed.

By Claire Zillman
October 13, 2017

For the first time in the history of British daytime television, a woman’s bare nipple will appear on air on Monday.

U.K. breast cancer charity CoppaFeel! has won the right to show a woman’s nipple as part of its Breast Cancer Awareness campaign that encourages women (and men) to perform self breast examinations.

The ad will appear on TV, in theaters, and in digital ads for a week starting Monday. The organization won the right to air the spot from ClearCast, the screening service for commercial TV channels.

A woman’s nipples appear only briefly in the one-minute “Trust Your Touch” ad that shows men and women touching ordinary objects—pianos, guitar strings, basketballs, dough—as well as their own breasts. “Touching your boobs could save your life,” the ad tells viewers.

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“In demonstrating the power of our hands and celebrating our touch as the best tool for checking, we hope to encourage more young people across the U.K. to adopt a healthy boob checking habit, which could one day save their life,” Natalie Kelly, CEO of CoppaFeel!, says of the ad, according to British Vogue.

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The ad’s approval comes as social media continues to grapple with how to police images of women’s breasts and as efforts like Free the Nipple campaign against the degradation of women’s bodies. Last year, Facebook censored a news article about mammograms published by French newspaper Le Monde because it featured a woman’s exposed breast. (Facebook later apologized and restored the post.) Facebook similarly censored a post by the Dublin Well Woman Centre that promoted breast checks, deeming it overly sexual in nature.

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