This Tampax Advert Has Been Banned For The Most Irritating Purpose

Many people have mastered tampon use through a mixture of talking with family or friends, trial and error, and studying The Care and Keeping of You. In terms of advertising, Tampax has included some helpful information in its ads, but (shocking!) One was recently censored.

In the commercial that aired in the UK and Ireland, a talk show host asks, “How many of you ever feel your tampon?” Your guest raises his hand. “You shouldn’t!” the host says. “It could mean that your tampon isn’t wide enough. You must have her up there! “

To illustrate the point, a few floating hands show correct and incorrect use of a tampon. On the one hand, the hands imitate the partial insertion of the tampon (“not just the tip”) and, on the other hand, the complete insertion of the tampon (“up to the handle”).

(Also Read: 7 Common Mistakes Women Make When Using Tampons)

Might seem harmless if not offended by plastic tubes and hand vulva, but the commercial has received backlash and was even pulled out of thin air in Ireland. The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) reviewed the commercial and said it had led to four different complaints: it was generally offensive, degrading to women (i.e., insinuating women can’t find out simply by reading the box), and it contained sexual innuendo and / or unsuitable for children. After review, ASAI only upheld the first complaint (that the commercial was generally objectionable) and found that the ad had caused a “widespread crime” among viewers in Ireland. On this basis alone, the ASAI decided that the commercial should be discontinued. The brand agreed and, according to The Lily, pulled the commercial from Irish television.

This turn of events isn’t particularly surprising, given that commercials related to women’s health have been historically regulated on television. Take Thinx’s MENstruation commercial, which shows a world where everyone gets menstrual periods and menstrual products have no stigma. The ad was not shown in full on television as it does not allow pictures of blood. Some networks refused to run the ad at all unless Thinx removed a picture of a man with a visible tampon string hanging from his underwear. In another example, a Frida Mom commercial in which a new mom swaps her pad and uses a peri-bottle didn’t air during the Oscars because it was deemed too graphic.

(Also Read: 10 Ways To Celebrate International Women’s Day In Singapore)

The Tampax commercial, while admittedly light-hearted, was obviously educational, which makes its rejection all the more disappointing. In Tampax’s response to ASAI’s complaints, the menstrual care brand stated that the commercial was “based on extensive research with consumers in several European countries to determine the barriers to use [tampons]especially those between the ages of 18 and 24 when they started using tampons more often. “The brand had conducted an online survey of over 5,000 adults in Europe and found that 30 to 40 percent of respondents did not insert their tampons properly and 30 to 55 percent did not fully extend the applicator. Tampax also noted that respondents from Spain, a country that had similarly informative commercials for period care, were less likely to indicate that they were using tampons incorrectly or were uncomfortable.

I would have thought we should be more worried now.

The ad was treated “inappropriately” as a “sensitive subject”.

The whole point isn’t that it shouldn’t be a sensitive topic. Women get periods. I’m sorry to break it up with you. https://t.co/0uPHLZf4J4

– Christina Finn (@ christinafinn8) July 29, 2020

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