What would Don Draper do?
When Kotex launched its new ad for
lady products tampons and sanitary towels, some of America’s television networks were unhappy. Kotex’s strategy was to combat the trend in feminine care advertising which has become so sterilised that the products have been almost entirely removed from their purported function and the reality of having a period. But three broadcast networks refused to screen the new ad because it used the word vagina. Yep, vagina. You know, the place where the tampon goes? Because though vagina is not a four-letter word, it’s still somehow unsavoury and unmentionable. Because apparently there are body parts that still should not be named, even when they are the body parts directly affected by periods and the products being sold. Kotex compromised, and reshot the ad using the euphemism “down there”. That wasn’t good enough for two of the three objectors, however, who clearly wanted to no reference at all to the location of all the business that sanitary products are being sold to help with. The upshot was that the final advertisement contains no direct reference to where a tampon or sanitary towel is used. It’s still funny. But it’s also a disgrace that such a compromise ever had to be reached. Where’s Roger Sterling when you need him?