This Tampax ad was banned for causing ‘widespread offence’

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  • A Tampax ad has been banned in Ireland for causing 'widespread offence'.

    The ad in question shows a TV presenter in a chat show set-up asking the audience, “Tell me, how many of you ever feel your tampon?”

    When her guests says she does, the presenter replies, “You shouldn’t. It might mean your tampon isn’t in far enough. You’ve gotta get ‘em up there, girls.”

    It’s now been banned in Ireland after it received over 80 complaints, arguing that it was demeaning to women; contained sexual innuendo, and that it was unsuitable for young children.

    None of these complaints were upheld but it did get banned on the grounds of general offence.

    The Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) said in its decision, ‘The Committee noted the Code required that advertising should not cause grave or widespread offence. The Committee noted that the advertisement, although light-hearted in nature, provided factual information in a manner that was neither explicit nor graphic.

    ‘They did not consider that the advertisement had caused grave offence. They noted, however, the level of complaint that had been received and the concerns expressed by complainants about the advertising and considered that it had caused widespread offence. In the circumstances, they considered that the advertisement had breached Section 3.16 of the Code.’

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    Tampax responded in a statement on Twitter, which read, ‘We believe in normalising the conversation around periods through awareness, information and education. This advert was designed to address a very common usage question and to educate how to use our product correctly in a straight-talking way.

    ‘Whilst we appreciate that the advert isn’t for everyone, we have seen many positive responses since the advert aired in Ireland with 67% finding the advert educational.’

    The ban has caused some controversy online, with Dublin’s Lord Mayor Hazel Chu saying, ‘I personally (this is my personal acc after all) think the ASAI made a wrong call banning the ad. Talking frankly about periods & tampons should not be taboo, we’re not in the 1980s.’

    Former Labour MP Ruth Smeeth also weighed in, saying the decision is ‘unbelievable censorship of women talking about their bodies’.

    Drag performer Shirley Temple Bar called it ‘absolutely ridiculous’, saying, ‘Offended by literally NOTHING, it seems, since their specific and frankly weird complaints weren’t upheld.’

    Despite the ban in Ireland, the ad is still running on UK television channels.

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