Victoria Buckley Jewellery is the big winner in the Facebook ‘Nipplegate’ scandal with millions of dollars of free publicity.
The high-end Sydney jeweller made international headlines in over 45 countries when Facebook threatened to close down its Facebook page due to images of “uncovered doll nipples” promoting its latest jewellery collection.
In fear of losing her Facebook page, Victoria Buckley Jewellery owner Victoria Buckley deleted the offending photos and posted them onto a new Facebook group ‘Save Ophelia’ to show “beautiful images of the exquisite doll and to discuss art and what constitutes nudity”.
Facebook deleted the images of the $5800 porcelain doll on the Facebook group site and then shut it down.
Following the international outrage generated by this censorship, Facebook officially apologised to Buckley for its mistake via email.
“We’ve investigated this further and determined that we made a mistake in removing these photos from your Victoria Buckley Jewellery page,’ the statement said.
“Our User Operations team reviews thousands of reported photos a day and may occasionally remove something that doesn’t actually violate our policies. This is what happened here.
“And although we believe the doll would benefit from clothing to protect her fair skin, we apologise for the mistake and encourage you to upload these photos again if you so choose.”
Obviously pleased with the outcome, Buckley said she has uploaded images of Ophelia back onto her company’s Facebook page.
“I think it’s great that they (Facebook) are acknowledging that these images have merit, and aren’t in violation of their guidelines, and that they will allow similar images of mine in the future,” she said.
Buckley said she was initially very worried by the dispute as she had invested thousands of dollars in the Ophelia marketing campaign and was concerned it would all be lost due to Facebook’s unfair censorship but is happy with the media coverage it generated.
“To my amazement, this has been reported in over 45 major world news publications and there has also been TV and radio coverage internationally, as well as countless blog discussions.”
She said the media coverage had resulted in a surge in traffic to the Victoria Buckley Jewellery website and Facebook page.
“As yet it hasn’t led to any extra sales to my knowledge but we have a greater public awareness which I believe will help my business to continue to grow over the long tem.”
Buckley, who has used images of porcelain dolls created by Marina Bychkova to promote her jewellery for three years, said she would continue to use Ophelia in her marketing materials but will pose the doll differently.
“I think these images (of Ophelia) are now somewhat out of context, and have lost some of their original subtlety,” she said.
“Ophelia was never intended to be splashed over the front page so further images will be presented somewhat more demurely.”