Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tampon-makers can't mention the V-word. Period.

For years, advertising for tampons and "sanitary products" have been shrouded in euphemism. So what happens when a US tampon-maker drops the coy messaging and goes straight for the jugular (so to speak)? Its ad gets banned by the major US television networks for mentioning the word vagina.

Even when the company substituted "down there" for vagina, two of the networks still wouldn't run the ad, so the company was forced to drop the idea altogether. That provoked Amanda Hess, author of The Sexist blog, to observe: "Now, the commercial contains no direct references to female genitalia – you know, the place where the fucking tampon goes."

An executive for Kimberly-Clark, the owner of Kotex, notes that US TV networks have no such compunction about references to "erectile dysfunction" in prime-time ads for Viagra and Ciallis.

The amended ad – produced by JWT - shown above, "How do I feel about my period?", has a series of images parodying the stock images used in sanitary product advertising, and concludes: "The ads on TV are really helpful because they use that blue liquid, and I'm like, oh, that's what's supposed to happen." The ad debuted on US television this week.

Source: Richard Adams's blog

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