March 24, 2010

Can’t Say “Vagina” on TV

Advertising, Culture 4 Comments

Kotex has decided to tackle ridiculous advertising for tampons with a brilliant campaign called U by Kotex.

This campaign is the first step for Kotex in addressing how we talk about menstruation and vaginal health as a society.

“Society has created shame and embarrassment around periods and vaginal health, which restricts honest dialogue and information sharing and compromises a women’s ability to take ownership of her personal care,” Aida Flick, Kotex brand director, tells Marketing Daily. “With the launch of U by Kotex, our goal is to change the conversation and to help women understand and be comfortable with their femininity and bodies.”

Not so fast, Kotex. Major television networks are banning the ad due to the use of the word “vagina.”

According to the Guardian:

Even when the company substituted “down there” for vagina, two [of the three objecting major] networks [which have not been named] 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 New York Times reported that the campaign — produced by the advertising agency JWT for tampon brand Kotex — was “a bit too frank” for U.S. TV. Merrie Harris, global business director at JWT said: “It’s very funny because the whole spot is about censorship. The whole category has been very euphemistic, or paternalistic even, and we’re saying, enough with the euphemisms, and get over it. Tampon is not a dirty word, and neither is vagina.”

The video on this post is the amended version, which debuted on TV last week.

Information from the Guardian.

AV Flox

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  • http://blogher.com Lisa Stone

    By the time I saw the screeching kitteh, I was howling. Every teenage girl should have the opportunity to roll her eyes along with this commercial. JWT did a brilliant job for Kotex.

  • Anaiis

    You know, I always wondered why the liquid was blue.

  • Pingback: Menstrual Tweets — Really? | Sex and the 405

  • Helenjwright

    this ad made me laugh. Still, don’t want it on telly till late cos i have no desire to explain it all to my small son!

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