Oh, those crazy Australians! Only they could turn a feminine-hygiene ad into a controversy over a euphemism for the vagina. Despite a number of complaints, the Advertising Standards Bureau will not immediately bar television stations from running a tampon commercial that features a woman carrying a pet beaver everywhere she goes:
Campaign spokeswoman Penny Warneford told ninemsn they had only received seven complaints from the ASB and they are a normal part of “fem care” advertising. …
Ms Warneford said their research found that 94 percent of women aged 18 to 24 said they used euphemisms for the word “vagina”.
“They feel more comfortable considering ‘fem care’ when they’re using a name for it,” she said.
“There’s no point skirting around fact that pads or tampons are for your menstral period and we have used a euphemism for vagina so woman could stand up and address their feminine care.”
Warneford noted that most of the complaints came from demographics outside of their marketing plan — older women and men. Younger women apparently appreciate the humorous approach to feminine care, which certainly is a departure from the approach taken by advertisers in the past. Most commercials talk about “feeling fresh” and/or rely on dull scientific themes to get around the embarrassment associated with talking about the menstrual cycle.
Take a look at the commercial, and decide for yourself. Hip and clever, or over the line?
The laugh-out-loud moment for me comes at the end, when the beaver opens the gift from the woman and is overjoyed at getting the box of tampons. Will Australian women buy a brand of tampons because its commercials made them laugh? Or will the euphemism chosen insult them?
Update: The commercial to me had the feel of a beer advertisement. Michael Bruce notes that the Canadians got their first with a Molson commercial:
Is one commercial more objectionable than the other? Why or why not?