Procter & Gamble decides not to review Complaints Committee’s verdict on Tampax ad

(Image: Tampax)

Decision remains that the 'Tampons & Tea' ad should not run in the same format again


Brand Central

18 August 2020 | 0

Procter & Gamble will not seek a review of the decision made by the Complaints Committee in relation to its ‘Tampons & Tea’ advert, the brand has told the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI).

As a result, the decision remains that the ad should not run in the same format again.

In total, 84 complaints about the ad were made to the Complaints Committee, the body responsible for complaint adjudication, which acts independently of the ASAI Board and the ASAI Executive.

In a press statement, the ASAI said it acknowledged that “there has been a lot of commentary on the ruling and would like to reiterate that the ASAI fully supports the advertising of all product sectors, including tampons and other sanitary products, in any media or on any platform.

“Awareness, education and informational ads are all totally acceptable as long as they are compliant with the Code,” the authority added. “Each ad is judged on its own particular merits, taking account of the content and the context.”

The ASAI also stressed that “advertising that is found in breach of the Code can be published again if it is amended to bring it into compliance with the Code. The ASAI Executive is always available to work with and assist advertisers in attempting to bring an advertisement into compliance with the Code.”

The ASAI had upheld complaints which said that the advertisement caused general offence. However, the authority did not uphold complaints which claimed it was demeaning to women, contained sexual innuendo, or was unsuitable for children.

Some complainants said the advertisement was offensive and had used an inappropriate manner to discuss a sensitive topic. They described the advertisement as over-descriptive and said it had been expressed inappropriately with excessive detail.

The advertisement addressed how tampons should be inserted, using a mock chat-show format. The host told women in the audience that if they could feel their tampon, that meant it wasn’t inserted far enough, urging: “You gotta get em up there girls!” A voice-over and captions during the demonstration of how to insert a tampon then stated: “Not just the tip, up to the grip.”

Owner Proctor & Gamble said that its consumer research while producing the advertisement had shown that many tampon users felt discomfort some or all of the time when they used a tampon. The brand said it didn’t believe the advertisement was offensive and that it should be allowed to air.

It was intended to be a “light-hearted advert” on a “very common usage question” that could “educate people on how to use the product”, Proctor & Gamble stated.

Following the decision to ban the ad in its current format, many women took to social media to voice their disappointment over the ruling.

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